Simmons Pet Food will add 150 jobs with plant expansion

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 2,819 views 

A rendering shows the project to expand the Simmons Pet Food plant in Siloam Springs. The expansion will add 90,000 square feet to the existing pet food plant.

The pet food company of Siloam Springs-based poultry producer Simmons Foods is planning a multimillion-dollar expansion to add 150 jobs and production capacity to the plant at the site of its first chicken processing facility in the city. Meanwhile, the company recently opened a new hiring center in Fort Smith.

The Simmons Pet Food plant at 316 N. Hico St. produces pet food and pet treats, and the project will include about 90,000 square feet of new construction and renovation, said Julie Maus, director of communications for Simmons Foods.

The expansion will create space for three new production lines and an additional 150 jobs. The work on the existing 134,000-square-foot plant is set to be completed this fall. When the work is complete, the facility will be 224,000 square feet, Maus said.

Cleveland-based The Austin Company is the designer. A general contractor has yet to be selected.

“We’re excited about the potential to bring an additional 150 jobs to Siloam Springs and the prospect of creating an attractive new facility on the site of Simmons’ first plant constructed in Siloam Springs back in 1952,” Maus said.

Multiple production operations have taken place at the site. Plant 1, a poultry processing facility, was retired there in 2009, she said. Since the late 1960s, pet food production also has taken place there.

At 4900 Rogers Ave., Suite 103-D, the new hiring center in Fort Smith is expected to streamline services for those interested in hourly job opportunities at one of Simmons Foods’ production plants in the Fort Smith metro area. People can review openings at the center, submit an application, be interviewed and complete necessary health screenings, according to a news release. The center will allow people to apply for a position within any of Simmons’ locations. Simmons Foods also has a hiring center at The Shoppes at Siloam, 2998 U.S. Highway 412, Suite 80, in Siloam Springs.

“Putting people first is one of our core values at Simmons,” said Russell Tooley, chief administrative officer for Simmons Foods. “It starts when you’re applying for a job here. We want to make it as convenient as possible. The one-stop-shop makes it possible to be hired the same day and be on the way to earning that first paycheck.”

Hiring center hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Simmons Foods and its affiliates produce poultry, pet and animal nutrition products. The family-owned company was founded in 1949, has nearly 8,000 employees and serves customers in more than 40 countries. Todd Simmons has served as the company’s CEO and vice chairman since December 2012. His father, Mark Simmons, is chairman.