SUNLAND PARK — Stampede Meat is opening a processing plant here that will create 1,295 jobs over the next five years.
“Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming the largest single job creation this community and our state have seen in nearly a decade,” said Gov. Susana Martinez at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.
“We are very pleased to invest in Sunland Park and are grateful to the governor as well as the state, county and local officials who have helped us,” said Brock Furlong, CEO of Stampede Meat. “We look forward to expanding our workforce to continue to provide quality products for our customers.”
Stampede Meat is investing $36 million to upgrade an old meat packing plant that closed three years ago. The new facility will double the company’s production, Furlong said.
The company, headquartered in Bridgeview, Illinois, said it needed to build capacity in the West to meet growing demand for seasoned cuts of beef, chicken, turkey and pork it sells to restaurants, retailers, club stores and home delivery customers.
“This isn’t a build it and they will come exercise. We have it already. This is to meet immediate customer needs not just now but heading into 2019,” said Furlong.
As part of the incentive package, which includes $3 million in Local Economic Development Act funds, the company will give a hiring preference to New Mexicans and will have specialized training for meat-cutters and other jobs.
“It provides a hope for the people here that there are jobs open,” said Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea.
The renovated state-of-the-art processing plant will be located in the former Tyson Foods facility, which laid off 200 people when it shut down in 2015. “The City of Sunland Park is proud to welcome Stampede Meat to one of New Mexico’s safest and fastest-growing cities,” Perea said. “This great news comes on the month that marks the city’s 35th year anniversary.”
The new meat processing plant is scheduled to open in October and will be the first to use a “360-degree seared platform” said Furlong. “This is unique technology that we developed that is proprietary to us.”
Talks with Stampede Meat began in early March just months ahead of the company’s goal to open a facility in the fall.
“New Mexico beat out Iowa, Texas — it’s not the first time we beat out Texas. And it feels good we’re competitive with states like Iowa and Texas and Oklahoma,” Martinez said.
The Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance was a key to attracting the company to southern New Mexico.
“This will truly be one of the top two largest manufacturers in the state of New Mexico, and again it’s happening here in Sunland Park,” said Davin Lopez, MVEDA president.