VALLEY, ALA. — Construction on the new John Soules Foods facility in Valley, Ala., has begun, the company announced. There were several delays in getting construction started due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The $151 million project will be broken into three phases and will result in the hiring of more than 500 people.

In addition, Adam White has been named maintenance manager for the new location. He has been working with the city of Valley and the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) to coordinate logistics of the project.

“We are pleased to have Adam join the team,” said Tom Ellis, chief operating officer of John Soules Foods. “Adam brings valuable experience and proven ability to lead our Valley, Ala., operations for years to come.”

Phase one of the project includes a $90 million investment and 210 full-time jobs. This investment will include renovations at the current facility, construction of additional buildings, wastewater treatment and the addition of two cook lines.

Phase two is a $39 million investment that will add an additional two cook lines and another 200 full-time employees.

The final phase will include the hiring of 100 employees, a $22 million investment and the addition of another cook line. After completion, the plant will be able to produce more than 200 million lbs of fully cooked beef and chicken products annually, the company said.

Construction is expected to take 13 months — the plant should be running in the summer of 2021.

West Point, Ga.-based Batson-Cook Construction was awarded the contract for the first phase of the project.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be working with John Soules Foods and appreciate their commitment to investing in our local economy,” said Paul Meadows, senior vice president and general manager at Batson-Cook.