Cannery To Open In Job-Starved Lake Providence

LAKE PROVIDENCE, LA (AP) — A new canning plant is opening in this Mississippi Delta town struggling with unemployment and poverty.

         Officials said the plant is opening in Lake Providence in part thanks to a $245,000 grant from the Louisiana Economic Development agency and tax breaks.

         The 12,000-square-foot plant is expected to employ 24 people. Census data shows that about 45 percent of the 7,500 people in East Carroll Parish live under the poverty line. The jobs are expected to pay on average $26,300 per year — or just above the parish's median household income.

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         "This is going to be big," Mayor Bobby Amacker said Wednesday.

         Providence Foods LLC will run the plant and distribute vegetables and relishes in glass jars. The town will own the plant, which will be built inside a former grocery store.

         Construction and equipment installation will begin immediately, with a target of beginning commercial operations in the first quarter of 2015.

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         Officials also said hiring would begin soon and be completed in 2015.

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