BY PCC STAFF
LEE COUNTY – The Lee County Conagra Brands facility announced today that they are expanding their facilities, investing $31,900,000 and adding approximately 91 jobs. The Lee County facility currently employs approximately 450 individuals.
To help facilitate this expansion and creation of jobs, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board has awarded Conagra $1.2 million over five years as part of the High Quality Jobs tax credit program. In order to qualify for this program, the jobs must pay a minimum of $17.09 per hour at the beginning of the project and at least $20.51 once the project is completed.
“Conagra has been a great partner to the community,” commented Lee County EDG Project Director Dana Millard. “We are excited about the announcement of this project and bringing additional high paying careers to Lee County,” Millard said.
The project will bring the production of canned beans to the Fort Madison facility. The expansion involves a significant investment of machinery and equipment however they do not plan to expand the physical footprint of the building. Equipment installation is scheduled to begin at the end of July.
“We are excited to expand production at our facility,” said the plant’s manager, Bryan Langerud. “We continue to focus on the growth of our business and are pleased to create more opportunities in the Fort Madison area,” he said.
The plant has been part of the community since 1972 when it was opened by the Dial Corporation. In 2011, two additional lines were added to the plant to produce Birds Eye.
In 2015, Pinnacle Foods, which was acquired by Conagra in 2018, underwent another expansion to upgrade the Luncheon Meat and Combo hydrostats, which were two of the largest pieces of equipment in Pinnacle’s manufacturing network.
Conagra Brands, Inc. is one of North America’s leading branded foods companies. Conagra Brands’ portfolio includes Birds Eye®, Healthy Choice®, Banquet®, Marie Callender’s®, Slim Jim®, Chef Boyardee® and Gardein®. Find out more about Conagra by visiting their website, www.conagrabrands.com.