Turning dirt on a new distribution center that promises millions of dollars, thousands of square feet and hundreds of new jobs. Tuesday, city and county leaders attended a groundbreaking ceremony for SYSCO's soon-to-be East Texas Distribution Center in South Longview. Construction is set to begin soon and should be completed by June 1 of next year. It will mean a major boost in the Longview economy and it will help out some East Texans before the company even starts accepting applications.
More than 350,000 square feet on 70 acres--a huge SYSCO distribution center that will mean huge benefits to the Longview community, including some 300 new jobs, ranging anywhere from sales to human resources.
"What it means is families coming in, not just SYSCO employees so if you figure a mom and dad and two kids, if you have 300 or so moving in, that's a lot of people eating in the restaurants, a lot of people playing little league...just a big boom we hope for the local Longview region economy," says Brett Lindig, President and CEO of SYSCO Food Services of East Texas.
SYSCO coming to Longview is not only going to create new jobs, but it's going to help out current employees like delivery drivers who work at the Kilgore transportation center.
"It opens up opportunities for them as far advancement in the company, I have drivers that have been on trucks for 20 plus years and the only position for them to take would be my own," says John Wilbanks.
He's been with SYSCO for 14 years. He started out as a delivery driver and worked his way up to transportation supervisor Wilbanks too hopes the new distribution center will promote him even farther.
"I hope to spend my whole career with SYSCO retire with them, so hopefully it will be moving up to operations, manager, and who knows from there," Wilbanks says.
And that means more pay to support his family, pay he'd otherwise have to move to Dallas for.
"To be able to keep my family here in Longview, which is small compared to Dallas, that really is good for me, for my kids to keep them here in Longview school, and my wife being here at Pine Tree it's really good for me," says Wilbanks.
The company says it will start conducting interviews for the jobs come this September. They will soon be setting up temporary facilities to take applications.