By Sarrah Peters
On Tuesday, August 14, job seekers attended the Gadsden Job Fair, sponsored by the Gadsden Career Center and Gadsden City Councilman Thomas Worthy, where they met with potential employers. While the Job Fair was underway, the Gadsden City Council announced the upcoming addition of new jobs in the area.
The city council approved two ordinances, one that conveyed property to Koch Foods and another that authorized a tax evasion agreement with Koch Foods.
Koch Foods will be undergoing an $80 million dollar expansion to its existing Gadsden plant, which will increase the plant’s production capacity by 30 percent. According to a press release, with the expansion, “Koch Foods will operate one of the largest poultry processing plants in the United States.”
“We are proud that Koch is choosing to come to Gadsden,” said Governmental Affairs and Economic Development Chair Frankie Davis. “They had several choices they were looking at several sites and Gadsden was their choice. From what I understand, they are very happy with Gadsden, obviously. They are bringing jobs and we are very fortunate to have them in our community and as an industrial unit in the city of Gadsden and Etowah County.”
The City of Gadsden’s Economic Development team and Gadsden Industrial Development Authority partnered with Koch on the expansion, which will add 200 new jobs, 100 of which will be added within the first year.
“For those that say there are no jobs in Gadsden,” said Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton. “Put your working shoes on and go over there and apply.”
During construction, sales and use tax will put $214,000 into Etowah County. The $4.8 million dollar payroll increase for the new employees will also benefit the local economy. Local state, county and city school systems will benefit from the expansion. Over 10 years, state, county and city school systems will receive $4 million dollars, and Gadsden City schools will receive $1 million dollars within that time period.
“One of the greatest benefits to industrial projects of this nature is to public education,” said Bill Greene of the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority “It takes a lot of effort and it takes a lot of investment from the company. We appreciate their thoughtfulness in investing in this community.”