Perdue plant in Prince George is adding 190 jobs
By STAFF REPORTS
Mar 28, 2014, 10:03
FROM STAFF REPORTS
PRINCE GEORGE — Two weeks after a food distributor announced it is closing its facility and laying off 46 people, another food company just down the road said it is hiring four times that many people.
Perdue Foods is increasing capacity at its Mid-Atlantic Replenishment Center, located at 5155 Chudoba Parkway, Prince George. This includes a $3 million investment in additional equipment, plus adding 190 new positions at the facility, bringing the number of people employed there to more than 500.
“Growth driven by new customers and new products for the Harvestland and Perdue brands has increased volume at the Replenishment Center. These investments will enable us to meet this growing demand and maintain the high level of customer service and reliability that customers expect from Perdue,” said Lester Gray, senior vice president of operations for Perdue Foods, in a press release.
The Mid-Atlantic Replenishment Center receives packaged fresh chicken products from Perdue processing plants in the region. Packages are labeled and boxed for individual customers, then shipped.
A company spokesman said the plant is adding a third shift in the first week of May.
Individuals interested in open positions at the Replenishment Center should apply online at www.perduefarms.com/careers. There were 15 different job titles listed on the website, and many of them paid $12.05 an hour after an initial training period.
Prince George County Administrator Percy Ashcraft said the announcement was a pleasant surprise.
"We're very happy about it, obviously jobs and investment," he said.
The move to add jobs at Perdue comes after Reinhart Foodservice, located at 8205 Quality Drive in the South Point Business Park, announced it will displace 46 workers by April 29 because they are terminating their local operations and moving to Manassas to be better geographically situated 100 miles closer to their core delivery market.
The timing of the hiring could benefit Reinhart employees expected to lose their jobs.
Ascraft said the county hopes to talk to Reinhart and Perdue about "at least giving them an opportunity to go over there and apply," he said. "It's in everybody's best interest to get those folks back in the workforce as soon as we can and if there is as little of a transition from their last day there to maybe something in the future, that would be great."
He said it is unclear though how fast Perdue will be able to add all of the 190 jobs.
Meanwhile, state officials praised Perdue's longstanding investment in Virginia.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia is grateful for Perdue’s new investment in Prince George and we look forward to continuing our work with the company going forward,” said Todd Haymore, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry in a press release. “... We appreciate Perdue’s continued confidence in Virginia through their growing network of poultry, agribusiness, and export operations in multiple regions of the Commonwealth.”
“Our operations in Virginia are very important to our strategic growth plans, both in the foods business and Perdue AgriBusiness,” said Chairman Jim Perdue. “We’ll continue to invest in our future as a multi-branded, multi-faceted food and agricultural products company, and to better serving all of our customers.”
Perdue’s other facilities in Virginia include a plant in Bridgewater for cooking chicken and turkey products, a chicken processing plant in Accomac, a deep-water grain handling facility and soybean crushing plant in Chesapeake, grain storage and receiving facilities in Tappahanock and Richmond, and several leased grain facilities in the Tidewater Region. Perdue was recently honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s AgriBusiness Council with its 2014 Agribusiness of the Year award.