Tyson Foods will add 150 more jobs to its Caseyville, Illinois plant expansion, bringing the total number of new team members to 400, the company said. It will help meet growing demand for its Hillshire Farm grab-and-go snacks and Jimmy Dean breakfast items, Tyson said.
The company broke ground on the $180 million plant expansion last August and expects it to be completed by late 2024. Previously, the company said only 250 new jobs would be created at the plant. Roughly 250 of the new employees are expected to start work this September, and the remaining 150 will start when the expansion is completed. This will increase its Caseyville manufacturing workforce to 750. Tyson said the new jobs will make its maintenance, Food Safety Quality Assurance (FSQA), warehousing, production, and management departments better equipped to handle demand.
The expansion will add seven new production lines totaling 270,000 square feet to the plant, which Tyson said will be used to house more automated machinery and robotics.
Like many companies that have faced ongoing supply issues for the past three years, Tyson is allocating funds and implementing aggressive strategies in order to prioritize its productivity. Last year, the meat giant said in order to address efficiency issues, it would increasingly turn to automation and employee retention programs to secure its supply chain. In its most recent quarterly earnings call, CEO Donnie King said the company aims to eliminate “laborious, difficult, high turnover” jobs like chicken deboning through automation. With the Caseyville expansion, it’s clear the company’s strategy also includes adding new positions to its manufacturing plants.
Tyson’s efforts to increase volumes of its products appear to be improving its supply efficiency. The meat giant hit record sales in its 2022 fiscal year — $53.28 billion — which King attributed to the company increasing on-shelf availability for its products.
The company’s focus on snacking follows strategic launches in the category. In 2021, it launched Hillshire Farm Snacked packs for kids. Jimmy Dean — whose breakfast foods portfolio includes Nuggets, Loaded Sausage Bites and Omelet Minis — added a plant-based meat option to its lineup in early 2021.