Governor Wolf Announces Creation of More than 1,000 Jobs Through Expansion of Bell & Evans
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Bell & Evans, a poultry processing and wholesale company, will expand its presence in Bethel Township, Lebanon County, creating more than 1,000 new jobs.
“This expansion by one of our long-standing Pennsylvania businesses, Bell & Evans, is a truly transformational project,” Governor Wolf said. “Not only will it provide more than 1,000 new, full-time jobs, but it will also support operations of more than 300 Pennsylvania farms, bringing a significant boost to our agriculture sector. I applaud Bell & Evans for choosing to continue their growth right here in Pennsylvania for years to come.”
Bell & Evans will commence expansion on 90 acres of owned land in Bethel Township by building a new 560,000-square-foot poultry harvesting facility to house four processing lines, each with a capacity of 600,000 birds a week. The new capacity is needed to meet increased demand for their whole and value-added chicken products, which will be processed at their nearby plant also located in Bethel Township. The company plans to invest more than $260 million into the project, which is expected to create 1,069 new, full-time jobs over the next three years and retain a further 1,650 jobs.
“We’re excited about our growth and its positive impact for the local communities,” said Bell & Evans owner Scott Sechler. “This expansion is supporting local farmers in fifteen surrounding counties by expanding our grow out and breeder operations. Additionally, coupled with our 100% conversion to a higher-welfare chicken breed, this expansion ensures Bell & Evans will maintain our position as industry leader and producer of the highest quality chicken in the U.S. The Governor’s Action Team is a key partner in supporting these initiatives, as well as overall agriculture in Central Pennsylvania.”
Bell & Evans received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $2 million Pennsylvania First grant, $2,138,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and $421,650 in funding for job training through the WEDnet PA program. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
For this new processing facility, Bell & Evans intends to source chickens from within a one-hour radius of the facility, and all additional production will come from Pennsylvania farms, representing a significant boost to the region’s agriculture industry.
“We appreciate the investments Bell & Evans is making in Pennsylvania, as well as Governor Wolf’s commitment to growing our agriculture industry,” said Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Bell & Evans has established themselves as a leader in the poultry industry, and we’re fortunate to have them right here in our backyard. The company’s expansion here means more opportunities for our producers – both those who are already raising chickens and those who are looking for ways to diversify their operations to take advantage of growing markets.”
In January, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority also approved Bell & Evans for an $11 million loan through PENNVEST to assist with the costs of a waste water treatment facility necessary for the completion of this expansion project.
Bell & Evans is a fifth-generation family owned and operated company located in Fredericksburg, PA. Founded in 1894, it is the oldest branded chicken company in America, and is an industry pioneer in humane animal welfare standards.
J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132