Simmons Foods to expand Van Buren plant, add 100 jobs

Siloam Springs-based Simmons Foods on Thursday (January 6th) announced plans to invest $100 million in its Van Buren ready-made food plant. Company officials said the upgrade will add 100 jobs, bringing the total job openings at the plant to 700.

The 65,000 square feet of space added to the plant will provide space for two automated production and packaging lines. Plans also include enhanced interior spaces for staff and improved traffic flow in and around the site. The company expects to begin work on the project in January and to start production online by the first quarter of 2023. Nephols Construction has been selected as the general contractor.

This investment will create 100 new jobs, including highly skilled jobs to support robotics and automation processes. The expansion will also support growth in the local economy and help meet market demand for one of the fastest growing business segments – cooked products,” said Joel Sabinfeld, president of Simmons Prepared Foods, in a statement.

The Van Buren factory now operates three production lines, producing approximately 110 million pounds of fully cooked chicken products annually. The expansion will increase the annual production capacity by 100 million pounds.

“We are excited to build on our success in the region. Our River Valley team is an important part of our company’s overall operations. “We have three production locations here in River Valley as well as a job center and Simmons Care Clinic dedicated to providing Medicare with no additional co-pay exclusively to our team members and their covered families,” Sabinfeld said.

In March 2021, Simmons Foods opened a staffing center at 4900 Rogers Ave. , Suite 103-D, at Fort Smith. The center was created to simplify services for those interested in hourly jobs at a Simmons Foods production plant in the Fort Smith metro area. People can review openings at the center, submit an application, be interviewed and complete necessary health checks, according to a press release.

Simmons Prepared Foods is one of the 15 largest poultry producers in the United States. The company’s pet food division is the largest supplier of branded wet pet food in North America. The company has more than 8,000 employees and has customers in 50 states and 40 countries.

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