Company to reopen Wells plant, creating 200 jobs in coming years

Published 12:38 pm Thursday, February 11, 2010

The former Wells Co-Pack processing plant in this community will soon reopen under a new name and owner, with plans of creating more than 200 jobs in the next few years.

Wells Community Development Director Austin Bleess said Singleteary Food Solutions, a meat processor out of Garland, Texas, has already begun moving into the plant, which is two blocks south of Minnesota Highway 109.

Bleess said the company will start out with about 15 jobs within the next month, and after that will be adding more until there could be as many as 220 to 250 jobs. The jobs will pay $12 to $14 an hour plus benefits.

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“Everybody seems really excited,” he said. “Anytime you can bring 250 good-paying jobs into the town, it’s going to be a good thing.”

The owners of the local gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores are also looking forward to the potential increase in customers that the additional employees could bring to the community. The hope is that most of the employees will live in town, too, Bleess said.

While he is not completely sure what renovations will take place to get the plant up and running, he said he knows the company will be adding on to the current building and doing some internal renovations to allow some of its processing equipment to fit into the space.

The project will receive benefits from the state’s Jobs Opportunity Building Zones Program, which provides local and state tax exemptions to qualified companies that expand or relocate into targeted regions outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Bleess said the two biggest reasons why Singleteary Food chose to come to Wells was probably the JOBZ incentives and the fact that Wells had a plant that fits the company’s needs.

The meat that is processed from the plant will be shipped out to various restaurants.

The plant, which has housed ConAgra and Wells Co-Pack food processing, has been empty for probably two years, Bleess said.

Steve Singleteary, entrepreneur and former banking attorney, out of Miami, Fla., is the president and CEO of the company.