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Grant to help Foster Farms workers

A $48, 300 grant awarded by Gov. Bob Riley will enable employees of a Marengo County poultry processing plant to improve their skills and to increase the productivity of their company. The grant will allow 42 employees at Foster Farms of Demopolis to receive training necessary to increase productivity and efficiency at the plant. Foster Farms is the largest poultry company in the western U.S., but the Demopolis plant is the company’s only location east of the Rocky Mountains.

“I am pleased to support training that provides Alabama workers with enhanced

skills that will benefit them, their company and their community,” Riley said.

Workers will learn improved technical and management skills that are vital in improving company operations. Foster Farms has committed $57, 595 to supplement the training grant. The Alabama Technology Network office in Thomasville will provide on-site and classroom training for workers.

Foster Farms produces a variety of corndog products at the Demopolis plant. Among its customers are Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Winn-Dixie and Kroger grocery stores, and food distribution companies like Cisco Foods and COSTCO.

Foster Farms employs more than 10,000 people and is based in Livingston, Calif. The company was founded in 1939. In addition to Demopolis, the company has plants in Oregon and Washington.

Riley awarded the grant from funds made available to the state through a program of the U.S. Department of Labor. He has designated the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to administer the grant.

John Harrison, director of ADECA, notified Braxton Spahos, human resources manager at the plant, that the grant had been approved.