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Simmons Pet Food adds to canning line, boosts employment

Simmons Pet Food is expanding.

The pet food processing complex in southeast Emporia is adding to its canning line as part of what it calls a multi-million-dollar expansion.

Emporia Regional Development Association President Kent Heemann says this will be a nice boost for Emporia's economy.

Construction could begin before June 1, with the new line operating before the year is out.

Company policy is not to respond to media requests after news releases are sent, although in a news release company president David Jackson said the company and its employees are proud of their commitment to the community and appreciates Emporia's longstanding support. Heermann says the company is doing its part, and not just with the initial announcement.

Jackson says Simmons, which makes custom- and private-label pet foods, will increase its processing capacity by more than 240 million pet food cans per year with this move.

This is actually the second expansion in a little over a year. Simmons added a new product line with over 30 full-time employees early last year. The city, RDA and Kansas Department of Transportation worked on a $500,000 economic development grant last fall to pave Warren Way, giving better access to and from Simmons and other tenants of Industrial Park No. 3.

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