By Jeanna Baxter White
The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has awarded the Town of Mocksville a $2 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to support public water and sewer improvements to accommodate Brakebush Brothers, Inc., a manufacturer of processed poultry products for foodservice, industrial, and chain accounts. The company began operations in Mocksville in October. The grant supports the creation of more than 200 jobs, along with a private investment of $60 million.
The Golden LEAF Foundation has provided the Town with an additional $450,000 utility infrastructure grant for the project.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has also approved $700,000 in road improvements at US Hwy 601 S. and Eaton Road to alleviate any traffic concerns related to the plant’s expansion.
Brakebush Brothers, a 94-year-old family-owned value-added processor of traditional and innovative chicken products, purchased the facility from House of Raeford in July 2018 after the central portion of the manufacturing facility at 251 Eaton Road was heavily damaged by a fire in December 2017.
The plant has re-opened after two years of intensive repairs and renovation. Brakebush has upgraded the facility with state-of-the-art production equipment and has expanded it from 72,000 SF to 110,000 SF. The updated facility will accommodate three production lines with three shifts and will employ over 300 team members when fully operational. The initial production capacity will be 90 million pounds of chicken annually, which will increase as lines are added.
In order for the Town of Mocksville to accommodate the significant increase in wastewater from the Brakebush facility, the Town would need to install a pump station and a force main sewer line consisting of two 400-gallon per minute submersible pumps and 9,100 LF of 8-inch for main. An additional 1,800 LF of new 12-inch water line was also needed to augment the single 12-inch water line to the facility. The grants have made those improvements possible.
“We are happy for Mocksville and Davie County to get these dollars to facilitate expansion,” said Carey Brakebush, vice president of facilities and transportation, who also expressed appreciation for the hard work of local officials who made the grant a reality. “Brakebush is thrilled to be in Mocksville and looking forward to what it brings for our company and the community.”
“Brakebush Brothers have proven to be a great corporate citizen, and we are proud that they have chosen Mocksville for their latest expansion,” said Mocksville Town Manager Matt Settlemyer. “We are pleased that the Town of Mocksville, Davie County, the EDC, and the State of North Carolina continue to work collectively to improve the area’s utility infrastructure and to provide economic opportunities to our local community.”
Economic Development is a Team Sport in Davie County
Local officials are pleased with the success of their collaborative efforts to make this project possible and are looking ahead to future opportunities.
“Town and County elected officials working together to bring business and industry to our town is what makes Davie County such a great place to live,” said Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin. “Collaboration between all parties involved in making the economic development machine run smoothly benefits all of our citizens by ensuring jobs and prosperity for future generations. Establishing relationships with great companies like Brakebush will benefit our local economy and community as we move forward into 2020.”
John Eller, county manager for Davie County agreed, saying, “As our economy grows, it takes all of us to be successful. Together, Davie County Government, the Town of Mocksville, and our Economic Development Commission continue to strategically plan for the future. Joint ventures and regionalization of shared utilities is a great example of what intentional partnerships can yield. Our collective goal is to enhance our water and sewer infrastructure for years to come.”
Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission (DCEDC), also wanted to express his appreciation for the support of Representative Julia Howard in Raleigh. “Our residents should know that Julia Howard continues to play a key role for us in Raleigh as she works to bring jobs and new investment to Davie County. Without her tremendous help, most of these grants would not be possible.”
Brakebush is Hiring
The company is now hiring for 50 second-shift production and QA positions as well as maintenance and refrigeration technicians for all shifts. Additional positions will open in March of 2020.
Pay starts at $13.35 & up. Personal and professional growth opportunities are available.
Benefits include 401K with company match (100% vested from the first day of enrollment), health, dental, vision, life, short-term disability, and long-term disability as well as paid holidays, paid sick time and paid vacation.
Bonuses include a $500 sign-on bonus (after 6 months), a $100 referral bonus (if both parties are still employed at 90 days), and an annual discretionary incentive bonus.
Apply in person at 251 Eaton Rd., Mocksville, NC., online at www.Brakebush.com, or by calling Bobbi Jo Kreiger, human resources manager, at 800-933-2121 ext. 3303.
About Brakebush Brothers, Inc.
Family-owned and operated since 1925, Brakebush Brothers, Inc. provides a complete line of further processed chicken with over 200 products for the foodservice industry. The company is headquartered in Westfield, WI with additional operations in Irving, TX and Wells, MN. Visit www.brakebush.com for more information.
About the Community Block Grant Program
The Community Development Block Grant program is a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by the NC Department of Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds provide grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.
About the Rural Infrastructure Authority
The Rural Infrastructure Authority was established as part of the Rural Economic Development Division at the NC Department of Commerce to assist with the review and approval of grants for rural areas in the state. The grants-making programs of the Division include assistance for building reuse and restoration, water and sewer infrastructure, and economic innovation in rural communities.
About the Golden LEAF Foundation
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The Foundation has provided lasting impact by helping create 63,053 jobs; $624 million in new payrolls and more than 68,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages. Golden LEAF has awarded 1,557 grants worth over $802 million since its inception. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call (888) 684-8404.