QPP eyes expansion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Austin's second-largest employer is "thinking about expanding."

Officials at Quality Pork Processors, Inc. are exploring possible off-site fresh pork processing facilities in Clear Lake, Iowa, Albert Lea and Austin, where it leases facilities at Hormel Foods Corporation's flagship plant.

"We are exploring the possibility," said Kelly Wadding, president and CEO of Quality Pork Processors, Inc. "The demands that are being put on us and a lack of physical space to meet those demands necessitate that we look at off-site production."

Email newsletter signup

Wadding emphasized such discussions are "tentative only."

Also, he said, "In no way are we looking at downsizing our work force in Austin."

Currently, QPP employs 1,100 production workers and 1,240 employees overall.

It is second only to Hormel Foods Corporation as the largest employer in Austin. Both Hormel Foods and QPP are among the largest employers in the southern Minnesota and northern Iowa region of the Upper Midwest.

Already, QPP has expanded and modernized its facilities in Austin next-door to the Hormel Foods plant. According to Wadding, expanding at the Austin site is only a "possibility," because of the lack of existing space.

But even considering expanding in the meat packing industry is a good business indicator for the company, he said.

However, Wadding stressed, "This is all very tentative. We're just thinking about it and exploring our options at this time."

Wadding also said there is no timetable for making a decision to expand or not.

United Way success

Quality Pork Processors, Inc. workers enjoyed another successful fund-raising campaign this fall.

According to Wadding, QPP employees have pledged $97,000 to the United Way of Mower County, Inc. campaign.

"We're all very proud of our workers and their generosity in giving to others," Wadding said. "We're glad to be able to help the United Way."

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at lee.bonorden@austindailyherald.com