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Tyson Foods develops plant in Eagle Mountain, projects 1,200 jobs coming to area

By Ryne Williams daily Herald - | Oct 30, 2020
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Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant remains under construction in Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Flags wave in the breeze in front of Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant in Eagle Mountain as it remains under construction on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant remains under construction in Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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A parking lot covers the land in front of Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant in Eagle Mountain as it remains under construction on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant remains under construction in Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant remains under construction in Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant remains under construction in Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Tyson Foods’ meat packing plant remains under construction in Eagle Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Tyson Foods is opening a new case-ready beef and pork plant in Eagle Mountain, with an expected 1,200 jobs coming to the area within its first three years in operation.

The company broke ground on the plant in October of 2019 with construction expected to be completed in late December or early January.

From there, the company will begin bringing in its own equipment, which will see the plant starting to put out meat and pork in August or September of 2021.

Complex manager Tom Sharp took on the project for Tyson, relocating his family from Texas to the Beehive State.

Sharp has had experience in all of Tyson’s three other case-ready plants and saw the opportunity in Eagle Mountain as one where he could be a part of the first plant built from the ground up in over 30 years.

“I think the excitement around, from a company standpoint, specifically to our division, is the opportunity to take our process and lay it out with team member safety in mind, team member flow and then to be able to construct a building around that process,” Sharp said.

The company previously has moved into facilities that had already been built, not allowing for a lot of customization. The company has had to fit its processes into those buildings, whereas — with the Eagle Mountain facility — Tyson Foods has been focused on its own layout and construction.

With this latest project, much of the focus has involved safety, including how employees will move about the facility safely and the spacing of work places during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has been a big topic, currently, as meat packing plants across the country have dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks and have had to change their way of operations.

“As with anything that we do, our top priority is the health and safety of our team members,” Sharp said. “We’ve taken numerous precautions, and we even incorporated all of the learnings from our existing facilities, whether that’s spreading team members out, adding dividers, or giving them more work area and additional lockers — all things that have been seen in the industry. We’ve been in a unique position to be ahead of that here and be able to incorporate a lot of those learnings.”

Sharp stressed the need for industrial jobs in Utah County, adding that the facility also acts as the company’s only case-ready plant on the Western side of the U.S.

The company will start its hiring ventures with around 500 positions at the facility, expanding to about 800 team members after the first year and then about 1,200 total employees at the three-year mark.

“From an industrial standpoint, there is a need for a lot of jobs out here,” Sharp said. “This is a very growing area, a very strong workforce and there are a lot of citizens and people around the area that want to remain in this area for work. They want to work where they live, and we bring that opportunity.”

The plant will take in larger pieces of meat — both beef and pork — then process it down into the meat consumers see at the grocery store on a daily basis.

Sharp joked that the steaks in the area will be, “very fresh,” with the plant making its way into Utah County.

The project is sitting right at the $300 million mark of investment from Tyson, with the hope that it can be the employer of choice in the county.

“Our goal is to be the employer of choice, and we’ve put that mindset and that thought process into everything that we’ve done,” Sharp said. “It does not look like your traditional facility within our industry. We have over 100 windows that we have put into our production areas to give team members the ability to see out and open those rooms up.”

Processing for Tyson Foods at its Eagle Mountain plant is slated to begin late in the summer of 2021, with more growth expected thereafter.

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