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Construction project brings 200 workers to Franklin County

More than 200 workers will spend the next 10 days in Franklin County constructing the MarJac Poultry Spruce Pine feed mill project.

Younglove Construction, LLC, based in Sioux City, Iowa, is the primary turnkey contractor for the project, according to Younglove Project Superintendent Jim Hornung.

Hornung said more than 200 workers, including approximately 160 employed by a subcontractor, will erect 170 feet of concrete walls in 10 days, with operations 24 hours a day. MarJac's facility is located on a 220-acre tract on Scharnagle Road, near Franklin 20 and Sheffield Avenue.

MarJac's Alabama expansion, which includes a hatchery to be constructed in the Phil Campbell Industrial Park, is approximately a $175 million investment, with 40 percent of that being feed.

All those dollars will go through Spruce Pine,” said Pete Martin, MarJac vice president of operations. “Our grower base cost right now is about $17 million. And we'll be contracting with local farmers to construct at least 100 new pullet and breeder houses. With this feed mill as the hub, those houses will be built all around this area.”

Most of the temporary workers are Hispanic, many of whom just finished a major project in South Dakota. They will occupy most of the rooms at Russellville's three motels. Workers were being registered and E-Verify documents were being received and processed Monday at the Budget Inn on Highway 43.

Hornung said even though the workers are employed by the subcontractor, his company still requires the E-Verify paperwork to insure all workers are either United States citizens or legal resident aliens.

Hornung said approximately 35 of the 200 workers will be in Franklin County for the next year while the project is ongoing. The goal for completion of the feed mill is November of 2017, he said.

Younglove is looking to hire additional workers, including carpenters, laborers and welders. Hornung said anyone interested in applying should come directly to the job site in Spruce Pine.

We are looking to add to our labor force and we're still hiring, so come on out to the job site and pick up an application,” Hornung said.

MarJac's feed mill in Haleyville is outdated and in need of repair that would not be cost justified, so Martin said the Spruce Pine property, with its rail access, was perfectly suited to the company's needs.

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