Hundreds of jobs are heading to one eastern Kentucky county.
It is not something we hear often these days, a company hiring hundreds of workers.
That is exactly what a Middlesboro company is doing as part of a major expansion.
The Smithfield Packing Company is closing six plants across the country, but it is expanding production at Cumberland Gap Provision in Middlesboro, which will open up hundreds of local job opportunities.
This news could not have come at a better time.
“I deal with people everyday begging for jobs, they will do anything to work,” Lucas Carter said.
Michael Van Bever has a construction job, but says work is hit and miss.
“I called him yesterday, and he still has no timeframe as to when we're going to get back to work, so I've got to get some kind of work, because I can't live off of hopes and dreams,” Van Bever said.
So Van Bever was happy to hear that Cumberland Gap Provision is adding 250 news jobs in Middlesboro, as part of a seven million dollar expansion.
The local unemployment office began taking applications Monday.
“That shows a lot of pride in these workers, they're doing a good job, the plant is profitable, and they're excited to stay here to make this plant keep growing,” Carter said.
Lucas Carter works in the local employment office, and is a Middlesboro Councilman. He says this is a good sign for other area businesses too.
“They buy a lot of supplies here. Without them, these places would suffer from business loss,” Carter said.
But now other area businesses, and hundreds of people, can look forward to a big shot in the arm, thanks to this welcomed economic news.
Some of the jobs will be transfers from those other Smithfield plants that are closing, but most workers will be hired locally.
The Middlesboro employment office is now taking applications.