USA Pork Packers receives $1M grant for expansion
By William O'Boyle, Times Leader (PA)
January 12, 2021
HAZLETON — USA Pork Packers (UPP) of Hazleton was recently awarded $1 million in state funding through the Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program (RACP) to support a large scale, multi-phase expansion of its facilities and operations.
According to a news release from the company, UPP is currently the third largest pork processing company in the Commonwealth and will become the second largest after tripling its operational capacity through the expansion project.
The company said the RACP grant will offset costly barriers to this growth and will allow UPP to increase job offerings and workforce training in the community.
“On behalf of the USA Pork Packers, I would like to formally thank Rep. Tarah Toohil and Sen. John Yudichak for their strong leadership and advocacy in securing this grant funding,” said Wayne Kreisl Sr., company president.
Kreisl said the project aims to address a growing need for domestic meat production exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A three-phased approach will bring this project to fruition, including the construction of several new buildings, machinery, and equipment, Kreisl said.
With this expansion, Kreisl said UPP will expand its local workforce by over 100 new employees and plans to launch partnerships with other industry leaders to offer workforce training initiatives.
Additionally, he said the project will allow UPP to establish new “case-ready” product lines, which have substantially increased in demand due to COVID-19 supply chain interruptions.
“We are pleased with this investment grant in the 116th Legislative District and in northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Toohil, R-Butler Township. “If the COVID-19 pandemic did one thing, it highlighted our need to stabilize food sources across the United States. For the first time in many of our lifetimes, all Pennsylvanians grappled with food insecurity. With these monies, we are investing in the production piece between ‘farm to table’ and stabilizing our food supplies.”
Toohil said this investment means 116 permanent jobs and 173 spin-off jobs...