Grant approval for John Soules Foods project is good news for our area

Published 6:24 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

The City of Valley has received some really good news about some grant applications, and that’s very good for the local area. The approval of a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant and a $250,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant were key needs in making the John Soules Foods project a reality. That means that around 150 new jobs will be coming to Chambers County by late 2020 and 500 within the next three or four years.

There was some good fortune in this. A big company was looking for a place to expand, and Valley had what they were looking for, namely a 266,000-square-foot building that was available and located within five miles of an Interstate highway.

This project coming to fruition wasn’t that easy. It took many hours of dedicated work on the part of city officials and the staff of the Chambers County Development Authority. One mistake and the project may have gone to another location. Chris Busby of the CCDA staff rates John Soules Foods coming here as the organization’s top recent success. Other successes include the diversification of local industry, something that involves 28 expansions over the last five years; the county’s branding campaign being widely recognized as a successful venture; the expansion of WestRock, both with 50 new jobs being added at the Huguley Industrial Park plant and a new 375,ooo-square-foot distribution center being built in the new Valley Industrial Park.

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Having John Soules Foods coming here is a big deal. The Tyler,Texas-based company is widely recognized as the nation’s leading formulator, manufacturer and marketer of ready-to-cook and fully-cooked beef and chicken products. Its commitment to Chambers County will bring economic benefits to Chambers County for many years to come. The coming of 150 new jobs in a couple of years will make a difference and 500 over the next three or four years will make an even larger impact. Because of the John Soules commitment, Chambers County ranked near the top this past year in terms of job creation. That’s the kind of rating a community should want to have.

We salute the continuing efforts of local officials and the CCDA to bring economic growth and opportunity to the local area. It’s good that the CCDA is preparing to launch a new marketing campaign to share what makes Chambers County a great place to live, work and do business.

This will be on multiple media platforms, not only in print but also on YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

It’s always good to get positive news in the way of economic development and new jobs coming to the area. Getting grants approved for the John Soules Foods project is decidedly good news for our area.

We welcome it.