One company is helping to create many new Virginia job openings.
American Foods Group recently sold its meat snack division to Tennessee-based Monogram Food Solutions, and that company plans to invest $3 million to expand production at its plant near the City of Martinsville in Henry County. That facility currently has about 130 workers, but that number will increase to 250 by October.
As part of the sale, Monogram Food Solutions took over four American Foods brands that produce sausages, salami, pickled pig’s feet and other meat snacks. According to an article by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, other details of the sale were not released to the public.
The added jobs the company plans to create in Martinsville could be an asset to the area, as the city often has the highest unemployment rate in the State of Virginia. In June, Martinsville had a 21.6 percent jobless rate, while Henry County had a 15.4 percent jobless rate, both much higher than the state’s unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.
Surprisingly, the area’s high unemployment rate was a factor in the company’s decision to expand there, according to William F. Mezger, chief economist of the Virginia Employment Commission.
“That was a deciding factor in choosing,” he said in the article. “We feel like we’ll have no problem hiring skilled workers.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. worked together to entice Monogram Food Solutions to expand the local plant. The package they offered the company included $400,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds and training assistance.