BELLE FOURCHE: New ramen factory expected to create hundreds of jobs
BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (KOTA) - Belle Fourche is expanding thanks to a massive ramen complex set to open within the town’s industrial rail park.
“I think the community will embrace it. It’s a really nice fit with what we already do,” said Hollie Stalder, Director of Belle Fourche Economic Development.
Albany Farms purchased the site with plans to expand the existing facility and build several new features such as a second factory, a flour mill, and a small packaging building.
If all goes according to plan, noodle production could start in January or early spring of 2022 creating a lot of new job opportunities.
“Initially they’ll start with probably 50 or 60 and grow to 150 over the course of a year and ultimately as they phase all 3 or 4 phases of their project, upwards of 500 jobs,” said Stalder.
Despite a national worker shortage, Stalder said there isn’t too much concern on whether or not the positions will be filled at the factory.
“We have workforce shortage and housing shortage, it seems, anywhere you look right now. The workforce is a challenge for everyone across the country, so I think as we get more people back to work promote and encourage different things that will help that, the workforce challenges need to be met. So, we’re going to have to be an integral part of that at helping them to do it,” said Stalder.
As for the housing shortage, Stalder says they are already ahead of it.
“We started about a year ago working on a housing plan for our community. We finished our housing study and our economic development board here, worked with the city and the county, and we’ve put together a housing plan that we’ve brought forward, so we’re engaging with developers and excited about what that brings next,” said Stalder.
Stalder added the community of Belle Fourche is growing and the addition to the town will be a boost not only to the region but the entire state.
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