Brawley Beef opens Monday

December 09, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Brawley Beef LLC officials said Friday they are ready to start operations at the beef-processing plant Monday.

Greg Beck, Brawley Beef president and chief operating officer, said 156 employees will start work Monday.

He said he hopes that number will "ramp up" to 600 full-time employees within a 12-week period.

"We are going to let our product safety and measurement systems be our guide on how we ramp up to speed," Beck said Friday.

The opening of the beef plant has been delayed twice — first in October and then earlier this month — as more construction was necessary.

Construction on phases of the plant will continue as the plant starts operations Monday.

The beef plant, a 348,000 square-foot facility on Shank Road in the northeast corner of the city, has taken a year to construct and has cost about $60 million.


The beef plant is the first built in the nation in 20 years.

The plant owners have credited the city of Brawley, the county, the Imperial Irrigation District and state officials for the fact the beef plant was built in Brawley.

They have said there were four sites considered, only one of which was in California. The other sites were in Arizona.

The owners have said it was the efforts of Imperial Valley people, local government agencies and state representatives that led to the selection of Brawley.

Local officials said the beef plant was worth pursing because of the effect it could have on the local economy by helping the Valley agricultural industry and through the creation of jobs.

While initial plans call for hiring 600 workers, Brawley Beef officials have said should the plant prove successful the number of workers could be increased to 1,200.

>>Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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