Governor Terry Branstad will be in Denison today to meet with local officials over the closing of that city’s Tyson Foods plant. Tyson announced August 14th it would shut the plant down.
“And obviously this is 400 jobs being lost and we’re concerned about that,” Branstad says. “But there’s also a possibility of another plant — a vacant plant I understand — that is considering Denison that could bring a couple hundred jobs. We are going to talk about that.” Branstad says there will also be discussions about how to help the workers displaced by the plant closing:
He says Workforce Development people will go along on the visit and they will meet with local officials on a strategy for helping those who lost their jobs and replacing the jobs as quickly as possible.
he plant has a long history in Denison, opening back in 1961. Branstad made his comments during a news conference Monday in Sioux City.
Branstad also touted a compromise he and state lawmakers reached earlier this year on the school start date following word that this year’s Iowa State Fair set an attendance record. Back in April, Branstad signed a bill into law which mandates schools start classes no earlier than August 23. Branstad says he saw a lot more families and children at this year’s fair because of the change.
“We had more FFA and 4-H students showing at the fair than ever before, at least in recent history, because of that,” Branstad said. “It’s been an issue that’s been around and debated for 30 years and now I think we’ve got a reasonable compromise.” The Iowa State Fair estimated attendance was 1,117,398 for 11 days, which broke the previous record from 2008 1,109,150.
The later school start date is helping other tourist attractions around Iowa, according to Branstad.”I had some people from Okoboji at the fair telling me that their numbers are up in August from what they’ve been recently,” Branstad said.
(Story and photo by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)