DANVILLE, Va. — On Thursday, Tyson Foods broke ground in Cane Creek Centre for a production plant slated to be in operation in 2023.
The 325,000-square-foot facility and $300 million project will set to create almost 400 jobs.
This ceremony was attended by several key figures across the region and state including: Robert Warren, Frank Ruff, David Bray and Gov. Ralph Northam.
The ceremony got started with Robert Warren extending thanks to Northam for attending as well as acknowledging colleagues in attendance.
“Pittsylvania County has a rich heritage in agriculture and with the partnership with Danville, we have reinvented much of the local economy to focus on advanced manufacturing,” said Warren. “We are happy to welcome Tyson to our region. I know they will add to the rich agricultural history of the Ringgold community. Tyson will have a far reaching economic impact on this region, and we want to thank Tyson very much.”
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Bell took his turn and extended his thanks to Tyson and stated collaboration is what makes regions prosper and thrive.
“Tyson Foods are new to this area but have been a wonderful partner for Virginia,” he said.
Ball introduced Gov. Northam and said Tyson is a model for how an area was down and picked them up and brought jobs back. Northam would explain agriculture is the number one industry in Virginia with tourism second and forestry third.
“We talk about companies that grow in Virginia and want to come to Virginia to establish their business. To date, we have had $77 billion in capital investments,” Northam said. “Virginia not once but twice was named the best state to do business.”
He continued, “We need to bring in other companies and help other companies grow, and Tyson is a great example of that. This is an exciting day for Virginia, Danville and Pittsylvania County.”
Group President of Poultry for Tyson Foods David Bray took his turn and started with, “To say I am humbled would be an absolute understatement.”
“It is an incredibly proud day for Tyson Foods.”
Bray would say when the company expands into new areas, the company sees everyone as family, “Without people, our business would not exist,” he said. “We strive to be the sought after place to work, and we know we are home when we see the people that are here today, sharing this exciting time with us. Today marks a great new chapter.”
Bray introduced Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, and she shared her enthusiasm for the plant while emphasizing poultry is very important to the Commonwealth.
“We know poultry is very important here in the Commonwealth. We have a thriving poultry industry, and it’s critical to our economy in Virginia. We know how committed Danville and Pittsylvania County are. We’re now being seen as the east coast leader in vertical farming,” she said.
Frank Ruff took his turn and gave his thanks to everyone involved.
“I would like to applaud everyone who has been involved in this project,” he said. “I want to commend the hard work all the leaders in this community have.”
Danny Marshall came up and gave his welcome.
“We are here to celebrate the coming of new jobs, a new innovative community business and we enthusiastically welcome Tyson to our region,” Marshall said.
Marshall would say for the past five years in a row, Fortune Magazine named Tyson as the number one most admired company in the food production industry.
“We’re happy you have selected our part of Virginia for the new location,” he said.
Evan Feinman stepped up and looked back on said model and stated 376 families will have a better livelihood.
“The model of collaboration and leadership that we have in Danville and Pittsylvania County is the example for the rest of the Commonwealth,” he said.
Joe Davis also extended his welcome. Davis reflected back to 2019 when IKEA closed its plant in the Cane Creek Center and the following events.
“That announcement was a major blow to 300 jobs that were lost. With strong leadership from our regional economic development team and support from our partners in the state, we made a quick rebound, and in a little more than 24 months, we’ve announced 1,200 new jobs and $402.9 million in new investments in this industrial park.”
He concluded, “I am so grateful for Tyson and settling right here in the Dan River district in Pittsylvania County. Welcome aboard Tyson!”
Councilman Sherman Saunders came up and gave a story of him being born in Ringgold, and at age 16, he was driving a school bus. He was proud of Tyson settling in his hometown.
“This is a beautiful day for a groundbreaking ceremony, and I am so happy to take part in this ceremony, marking this moment,” Saunders said. “It was exciting just a few short weeks ago when it was announced that Tyson Foods would establish a manufacturing facility on the grounds upon which we stands today.”
He continued, “Tyson Foods feeds the world, and Danville and Pittsylvania County will be part of that nourishment. When you think about that, how could you not be excited?”
Saunders would recap how the industrial park came to be 15 years ago. Leaders would purchase land for industrial recruitment. The land would be purchased in a 18 to 20 month period, all 900 acres.
Saunders gave optimism for the future.
“Today, we celebrate Tyson Foods has come to Cane Creek Centre. Together, we are building a better future for our citizens and are excited that Tyson Foods is part of our future. May the ground we break today lead us to continue our journey together.”
Mayor Alonzo Jones was the final speaker of the event.
“We are excited Tyson Foods will be here in our community,” he said. “They are looking forward for the opportunity for one of the world’s largest food companies. This project will have a positive impact for years to come. On behalf of the city of Danville and its citizens to thank Tyson and welcome them to the state of Virginia. We are excited that a company well known and respected as Tyson is part of our future.”
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