As manufacturing continues to boom in many parts of the United States, rural communities with little to no connection to this growth are facing even more hardship. One such example is the small town of Grain Valley, Missouri, where a Tyson meat processing plant is expected to close its doors soon.
The Tyson plant in Grain Valley has been in operation for nearly 40 years, supporting 350 jobs and providing a welcome boost to the local economy. But the closure of the plant will leave nearly 200 local jobs in jeopardy, leaving Grain Valley to pick up the pieces as larger cities and towns benefit from the manufacturing boom.
Local businesses such as restaurants, groceries and service industries will be the hardest hit from the closure, as consumer spending is expected to decrease significantly once the plant has shut its doors. The town’s mayor is worried about the future of Grain Valley and is considering placing a sales tax increase in the ballot this November in an effort to offset some of the damage.
The closure of the Tyson plant in Grain Valley is a stark example of how the modern manufacturing boom is leaving many small towns behind. The town’s leaders and citizens hope their situation can be a wake-up call that the government needs to invest more in rural areas that are not seeing the growth and prosperity of larger cities and towns around the country.