Economic Development
9:27 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Hopkins County plant to expand, another strong economic sign for region

SULPHUR SPRINGS - Just three years after completing a $16 million expansion that doubled its plant size and added 130 workers, Bob Evans Farms Inc. says another expansion is planned at its Sulphur Springs facility. 

The company formally announced this week they’re investing $23 million or more to add lines and boost production of ready-to-eat foods at the Owens Sausage Plant, the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram reports. The number of additional workers needed as part of the expansion or when the project would begin was not clear. The Sulphur Springs plant already employs 190 people.

The positive economic news follows a recent string of similar announcements, notably in the City of Greenville, where existing manufacturing plants are exploring ways to expand and add jobs. There's even another groundbreaking in the city scheduled for Monday.

Sulphur Springs has been among the victim cities of the down economy following a December announcement that its Morningstar Foods plant would phase out 55 jobs sometime this month.

In Commerce, more than 300 jobs will be lost upon the closing of Covidien, which is part of a consolidation effort. The initial announcement made in summer 2010 called for the plant’s closing by this September, however it appears work may continue until sometime in 2013. 

One of the biggest closings in recent memory is Greenville’s Newell Rubbermaid plant. Officials intend to close their doors this year. The plant, which has been in Greenville for more than 30 years, employs some 500 people, including about 490 full time plus several seasonal and temporary workers.