Because it means we survive.
Not only do we survive, but we see major economic impact for our entire region, not just Concordia. CloudCorp had the CEDBR at Wichita State University conduct an economic impact study for this plant. This facility not only would have 1600 direct jobs, but would result in a total of 3109 jobs to the region over a 10-year period with $1.2 billion in local economic impact. These jobs include more teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, agronomists, dentists, architects, engineers, fabrication, etc.
This means more people buying homes, cars, and groceries in turn meaning more property and sales tax for the region.
This means an increased need for more retail, meaning we fill our retail greenspace and our storefronts downtown.
A Tyson plant means another way for farmers to diversify so that they might survive tight years with lower than desirable commodity prices.
A Tyson plant means more money into our schools with more students. This keeps opportunities for our kids like debate, forensics, chess, music, band and other extracurriculars that stand in danger of being cut when our numbers drop. For our smaller schools, it might mean keeping the doors open.
Tyson means our region reverses the trend of rural population decline. Our proposal shows that Cloud County and the 81 Corridor are open for business.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the project and some information to help you make an informed opinion.
What will the facility look like? The facility will be a large processing plant with another building for a hatchery and a feed mill and grain storage
How many chickens will be processed? Over 1 million per week
Will it smell? The plant is a fresh-pack plant meaning no cook down process, limiting the strong daily odors. The plant is a state of the art facility that must meet air quality guidelines. Tyson hasn’t built a plant like this since 1996 in Union City Tennessee meaning this plant will be the most state of the art facility in the United States.
Do we have enough water? Yes
What are the environmental concerns? Our top concern is water, wastewater and air quality. The food processing business is the heaviest regulated business in the United States, with over-site from OSHA, FDA, EPA and here in Kansas, KDHE. We will work with Tyson to meet and hopefully exceed standards set by these agencies.
How many trucks will go to the facility each day? 30-40 trucks in and out of the facility each day.
What do we need to do to be site ready? While we know we will need to extend wastewater to the site, we are still learning what all might be needed to be site ready. We will work with our local water officials to really solidify our site preparation.
How many employees are needed? 1500-1700
What is the salary range? We have seen reports of a median of $13.50 when they were looking in Tonganoxie. Full benefits included- health care, 401K, stock options, etc.
How will we fill the workforce? In a 60-minute radius of the facility, we have a workforce of more than 50,000. 2200 of those in the workforce are unemployed. We would hope that this facility could attract many of these unemployed persons or even those underemployed in the community.
Where will they live? Right now, Concordia has 150-200 empty homes. Around 80 of those are on the market now. The surrounding communities also have housing available. We have 2 tracts of land available for housing developments if needed. Since announcing our intent to compete, we have been contacted by housing developers eager to meet with us.
Can the schools handle it? The Concordia school district can take on an additional 500 students without a facility build by expanding back into the old middle school. Surrounding school districts additionally have room for more students. There would certainly be a need for additional teachers, ESL teachers, and para professionals.
How does it impact city infrastructure? The City of Concordia had a population of 7200 in 1970, compared to about 5,100 today. We have capacity in our water system and wastewater system to accommodate a substantially larger population.
How does the project impact farmers? The project requires a substantial grower network within a 60-mile radius of Concordia, meaning they will need multiple farmers to voluntarily build chicken houses to supply chickens on a contract basis. The plant also requires a substantial amount of corn and soybeans. The plant gives farmers in our region direct access to a reliable market and reduces grain transportation costs.
How does this benefit the surrounding communities? The first benefit is 1500 tax-paying employees with health insurance and other benefits living throughout the region. That means increased customers in stores, more kids in schools, opportunities for secondary economic growth (more retail, services and manufacturing businesses). An impact study done recently estimates the economic impact to be $1.2 billion.
What is the 81 Corridor group and why the regional application? The 81 Corridor group consists of elected leaders, economic development groups, farmers, regional groups, business owners and private citizens working together to attract economic development activity to the 81 corridor in North Central Kansas. We understand a regional approach is necessary when working to attract a large project with a substantial grower network.
What happens now? What is the process? We submitted our application to the Kansas Department of Agriculture. They submitted all applications to Tyson for review and they chose Concordia as one of the final three locations. We have a couple of months to work through any site issues and to come up with an incentive package that works for us.
CloudCorp has open office hours each morning from 8-10am. Please stop by during that time or call ahead and reserve an appointment if you have specific questions or concerns. If you are a farmer who would like to learn more about building chicken houses, please contact Ashley at the below contact information. We want to work with you to help bring economic opportunities to this region.
606 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901