Prestage vendor fair to be held Dec. 13
By CHAD THOMPSON
In an effort to involve local contractors and subcontractors in the construction of a new $250 million pork processing plant in Wright County, Prestage Foods of Iowa and Epstein Global are hosting a vendor outreach fair at the Bioscience and Health Science Building on the main campus of Iowa Central Community College.
The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 13.
Epstein Global, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is the general contractor for the multi-faceted pork plant project.
Representatives from Prestage and Epstein will be on site to provide potential subcontractors with information on construction elements, supply systems, materials and services, according to Jere Null, chief operating officer of Prestage Foods of Iowa.
“We have had a tremendous amount of local interest in how to bid the project or how to be involved in the upcoming construction,” Null said. “We thought it would be a good idea to have this vendor outreach program where we could define the scope of the project and all the things that need to be done.”
The 675,000 square foot facility is to be built on 150 plus acres, five miles south of Eagle Grove.
The site is roughly a 20 minute drive from Fort Dodge.
Null anticipates breaking ground in March 2017.
The Wright County Board of Supervisors paved the way for the pork plant when it entered an agreement with Prestage in August.
The company had previously considered Webster, Hamilton and Cerro Gordo counties as potential sites for the plant.
Prestage is now awaiting approval on permits from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“We are working to ensure all the permits come into place,” Null said. “We are in that process right now.”
Null said the hope is to acquire the necessary permits by the end of 2016.
The plant, which is expected to be operational by the fall of 2018, will employ up to 1,000 people within its first year.
The North Carolina-based company was founded in 1983 by Bill and Marsha Prestage.
It employs more than 2,000 people company-wide to date.
Null is confident that Prestage will impact the region in a positive way.
“We are going to bring positive changes and strong economic growth to the area,” Null said. “We are just excited to see that activity get underway. We think it will provide a lot of opportunity for contractors and businesses, and ultimately citizens of the area that we hope will want to come and work and be a part of our facility. So we are just excited to be here.”
With air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical and a host of other needed services, Null believes local companies will have plenty of opportunities for work.
“There may be vendors in the area that are smaller companies,” Null said. “We believe there will be a good opportunity for subcontractors. This is a way for local purchasers to bid direct, but it’s also an opportunity as a subcontractor to hook up with a bigger contractor and discuss working together.”
Catering and laundry service, trucking and other products will be needed once the plant is complete, according to Null.
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