Judd Weil-News Director email@example.com
Governor Laura Kelly announced on Monday, July 18, Simmons Pet Food is expanding operations in two Kansas communities, investing a total of $115 million and creating 177 jobs.
A new 750,000-square-foot distribution hub will be built in Edgerton and a fourth high-speed canning line will be added to the company’s existing Emporia facility. The projects are part of the company’s $500 million strategic growth plan.
“Simmons’ decision to expand their already significant operations and hire 177 more Kansas workers is good for Emporia, Edgerton, and the entire state,” said Governor Kelly. “More and more businesses are choosing to grow here in Kansas – showing that our work to make Kansas the most pro-business state in the country is paying off.”
Simmons is the leading private-label and contract manufacturer of wet pet food in North America. Both projects will enable the company to better meet the growing demand for multi- and variety-packed pet food products.
“The fourth line in Emporia will be capable of producing 60,000 pounds per hour and will expand the total annual plant output to more than 70 million cases (1.6 billion units) by early 2024,” said Scott Salmon, president of Simmons Pet Food.
“Edgerton is an ideal location for new warehouse capacity and automated packaging operations to streamline distribution of our product to our customers throughout the U.S.,” said Chad Morris, senior vice president of supply chain at Simmons.
Simmons’ Emporia facility, which has been in operation since 1998, began with one line. Today the operation includes a flex plant producing pet food in pouches, cups and tubs, in addition to the canned pet food plant. The combined operation has grown to employ more than 1,500 team members.
“We are pleased that Simmons Pet Food continues to invest in Emporia by adding this fourth production line,” said Chuck Scott, president of the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas. “This announcement is an outstanding testament to the company’s commitment to its employees and to the entire Emporia area by continuing to add above-average paying jobs. The collaborative effort of all parties involved stand out as an example of what happens when excellent partners work together when businesses consider investments like this one by Simmons.”
This announcement comes on the heels of several other economic developments by the Kelly Administration:
Since January 2019, Kansas has attracted over $13.5 billion in capital investment and has created or retained over 48,500 jobs.
Panasonic Energy has chosen De Soto, Kansas, as the site its new electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant. It will invest $4 billion into the project, which is expected to create 4,000 direct jobs and 4,000 jobs from local suppliers.
In June, Kansas was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel Award for the second year in a row. The back-to-back wins are unprecedented in state history.
In March, Kansas won the Governor’s Cup from Site Selection Magazine for attracting the most economic development investment per capita of any state in the U.S.
“Private sector investment and job growth have been at the forefront of Governor Kelly’s economic development strategy since day one,” said Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “The state will continue finding ways to encourage great companies like Simmons to expand and hire even more Kansans as we work to accelerate the state’s economic growth rate.”