Possible Plant Expansion Brings Jobs

One local community is playing tug-of-war with Texas. They're fighting to get a manufacturing company to give jobs to our area, not there.

Lance, Incorporated is planning to expand its Tom's Foods plant in Perry, or one of its facilities in Texas.

Perry wants them to expand there. The $7.75 million expansion would create at least 52 jobs.

Daryll T. Gunter, Chairman of the Taylor County Commission, says, "Other states and communities are offering grants and offering money incentives to come into their communities. We're trying to get into the same position that they are so we don't lose those jobs to other areas."

The Taylor County Commission has passed a resolution to offer financial incentives to Lance. The million dollar incentive package includes Florida's Q.T.I., Qualified Target Industry.

Rick Breer, Director of Economic Development for Taylor County, says, "What that amounts to is a total of $6,000 per job if the jobs are created here in Florida. Eighty percent of that is paid by the state and 20 percent is paid locally."

Right now there are 68 people employed at Tom's Food's Perry plant. Taylor County Economic Developer Rick Breer says an additional 52 jobs will make a big difference for Taylor County.

Rick says, "Those jobs, 80 percent of the health insurance is paid. They'll be starting off a little above ten dollar an hour. That's a quality job for this area."

Breer says they are also working on a property tax exemption in hopes that the total package will encourage Lance, Inc. to choose the Perry plant for the expansion.