Poultry Processing


The East Texas region consisting of  a 45-minute radius of Center is ideal for Poultry Supply, Processing and relevant upward and downward streaming business operations (i.e. food processing) considering the fact that Animal Production alone as a single industry segment posted a 2016 total regional demand of over $465 million of which, only 32% was met within the region.

Our Poultry Supply and Processing Cluster/Advantage:

  • The Tyson Foods Processing Plant is the largest employer in this industry segment employing over 1,600 people in Center, Texas.
  • The plant has recently completed a $25 million expansion project.
  • Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride each also maintain a hatchery in Center.
  • Pilgrim’s Pride has a Feed Mill in Shelby County and several other locations
  • Cobb-Vantress has a location in Timpson, Texas.
  • Georgia Poultry Equipment Company is part of poultry equipment manufacturer Hog Slat Inc, and has a plant in Nacogdoches County, Texas.
  • Border’s Poultry Supply is a supplier of wide ranging poultry farming solutions including professional custom poultry houses, poultry equipment such as poultry house heating and ventilation, poultry house automation, chicken watering system and so on.

Poultry Supply and Processing Companies in the 7 County Labor Shed (within 45 minutes’ drive time of Center, TX):

  • 88 Animal Production Locations
  • 11 Locations for Animal Production Support Activities
  • 10 Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
  • 5 Animal Food Manufacturing
  • 5 Poultry Processing
  • 3 Livestock Merchant Wholesalers
  • 3 Meat Processing from Carcasses
  • 1 Poultry and Poultry Products Merchant Wholesaler
  • 1 Meat and Meat Product Merchant Wholesaler

Skilled Labor/Workforce Availability:

The region’s labor shed has more jobs in the Food Manufacturing Sector than the US Average

  • More than 42.5x the US average in Poultry Processing
  • More than 25x the US average in Animal Food (except for cat and dog) Manufacturing
  • More than 20x the US average in Animal Slaughtering and Processing
  • More than 9x the US average in Cat and Dog Food Manufacturing
  • More than 6x the US average in Support Services for Animal Production
  • More than 5.5x the US average in Animal Production
  • More than 5.5x the US average in All Other Food Processing Workers
  • More than 2.5x the US average in Farm Products and Raw Materials Wholesaling
  • More than 2x the US average in Beverage Manufacturing
  • More than 1.5x the US average employed in Beverage Stores

Additionally, the labor shed has seen the following growth in Food Processing jobs over the last 5 years

  • 81% growth in Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers
  • 16% growth in Special Food Services

Low Cost Electric Power:

City of Center is served by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) which is an operating company of American Electric Power (AEP).

  • SWEPCO has over 530,000 customers in their service region spread across Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
  • One of the lowest cost electric power provider in the whole nation. Cost per kWh is only $0.066 in Center, TX which is much lower than the national average of $0.093 per kWH.

Parts of Center, most of Shelby and 7 other neighboring counties are also served by Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Natural Gas Pipelines:

  • Centerpoint Energy provides natural gas to the City and the region.
  • CenterPoint Energy Intrastate Pipelines (CEIP) owns and operates 240 miles of pipeline in Texas and Louisiana

Water and Wastewater:

  • The city provides water and wastewater management services to residents and businesses.
  • The wastewater treatment plant is going through a major upgradation project (valued at $2.1 million) which will increase its wastewater treatment capacity to about 400,000 Gallons per day in addition to installation of new electrical systems and motors, building of a new large lift station, and replacement of several sewer lines.
  • The city also received a grant from the State of Texas to install a new solar panel array which would cut down wastewater treatment energy consumption by 20%.


Highway Access

  • US 59, a 4-lane major highway runs through Shelby County and is accessible 15 miles north of Center.
  • Interstate 49 can be accessed about 40 miles to the east of Center.
  • Major markets such as Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Shreveport are all within 150 miles radius (about 3 hours maximum drive time) of Center.
  • Over 32 million Americans live within an 8-hour drive of Center, Texas.

Airport Access:

  • Center Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport with a 5,501 foot runway.
  • The following commercial air options are also available (distance from Center, Texas):
  • East Texas Regional – 60 miles
  • Shreveport Regional – 60 miles
  • Tyler Pounds Field – 70 miles
  • Texarkana Regional – 100 miles
  • Houston Bush Intercontinental – 150 miles
  • D/FW International – 150 miles

Colleges and Universities

There are several colleges and universities in the region:

  • Panola College
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • University of Texas at Tyler
  • Kilgore College
  • Texas State Technical College – Marshall
  • East Texas Baptist University
  • LeTourneau University
  • Angelina College



Additional Information:

Taxes and Business Costs

As a location for doing business, Center features major tax and business costs advantages including the following:

  • No state corporate income tax
  • No state individual income tax
  • Only state in USA that does not require private companies to have workers’ compensation insurance.

 Primary and Secondary Education

  • K-12 educational services are provided by Center ISD. Other school districts in Shelby County are:  Excelsior ISD, Shelbyville ISD, Tenaha ISD, Timpson ISD and Joaquin ISD


U.S. News & World Report –

CENTER HIGH SCHOOL voted one of the Best High Schools in the country.


Workforce Training

Shelby Regional Training Center, operated by Panola College can provide customized training programs based on employer needs, and currently has the following workforce training programs:

  • Electrical & Instrumentation
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Natural Gas Compression
  • Petroleum Technology
  • Residential/Commercial Electrician
  • Welding


Emerge Business Assistance Program

  • Created by Center Economic Development Corporation, the EMERGE program aims to assist entrepreneurs to start up new ventures and grow in Center, Texas.
  • The program will provide assistance to new businesses in the form of reimbursements for a period of 5 years provided the business conforms to the eligibility criteria.
  • More information on the program can be found here.

Innova Business Improvement Grant Program

  • The Innova program assists businesses that are in need of building improvements. Eligible projects include: facades, building improvements, and landscaping.
  • Any business located in Downtown Center or in a Commercial or Industrial zone are eligible.
  • The Center EDC will reimburse 50% of the improvement cost up to a certain dollar amount once the project is completed.
  • More information on the program can be found here.

New Market Tax Credits

  • Center is in appropriate census tracts for a business to qualify for New Market Tax Credits.

Property Tax Abatements

  • Based on capital investment and job creation, the City may grant a property tax abatement on the value of the improvements to the property.

Sales Tax Rebates

  • Based on capital investment and job creation, the City may rebate part of the city portion of sales tax collected from the business.

Site Development Assistance

  • The Economic Development Corporation, working in conjunction with the City of Center, may be able to provide assistance to the business in extending utility services to the business location at no cost to the business.

Tax Increment Financing

  • The tax increment financing zone can be used to finance the cost of improvements to assist a business.

Texas Enterprise Zone

  • The Texas Enterprise Zone Program (EZP) is an economic development tool available to Texas communities from the State for promotion of jobs creation and private capital investment.
  • The program has so far accomplished 979 projects resulting in $74.1 billion in capital investment.
  • A Texas community can nominate a new or relocating company for the TEZP program.