NEW INFO: Hundreds Of New Jobs Coming To Kinston

A big shot in the arm for one county's economy as Smithfield Packing Company says it will bring 330 new jobs, while a plant in Virginia will close.

The Smithfield plant in Kinston will expand over the next three years, spending $85.5 million on that project. At the same time, Smithfield says it will close its plant in Portsmouth, Virginia throwing 425 employees out of work. The company says production of hot dogs and lunch meat in Portsmouth will be shifted to Kinston.

Governor Beverly Perdue says the expansion was made possible by a $700,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

A news release says salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $27,644, plus benefits. The Lenoir County average annual wage is $29,276.

In 2008 Smithfield closed its second Kinston plant on Vernon Avenue. Some 500 people lost their jobs in that move.

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