Tyson Expansion Creates Jobs in Wilkes County, NC

Tyson Foods expanded its chicken processing cook plant in the city

Bill Lewis
On Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 09:14

Wilkesboro, N.C. is in the heart of the United States, but Americans’ growing love of flavors from the Southwest has resulted in the expansion of one of the city’s signature companies and the creation of new jobs.

Thanks to a partnership with Chipotle, Tyson Foods expanded its chicken processing cook plant in the city, employing more than 2,700 workers. The expansion enlarges the labor force and represents an investment of about $14 million.

“We’re grateful to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and everything it has done to help Tyson Foods bring jobs to the state in the past,” says Drew McGee, Tyson Foods’ senior vice president of raw poultry.

Tyson believes the project “will be a win for our company, North Carolina and our customers,” he says.

Chipotle is a growing fast-casual restaurant chain that offers a menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads that the company says are served fresh and made with respect for the ingredients, the land and the people who produce them. The company does not use added colors, flavors or other additives often found in fast food.

Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,400 outlets.

“We’ve made more than $14 million in capital improvements to the former cooked plant in Wilkesboro to meet growing demand for our products. The project has created as many as 150 new jobs ... and is likely to increase in the near future,” says Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman.


Bill Lewis is an award-winning business journalist whose work has appeared in publications across the United States.