Baking company to bring 400 new jobs to Paris - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Baking company to bring 400 new jobs to Paris

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PARIS, TX -- Jeff Smith lost his job as a machine operator when a Paris, Texas bakery, once owned by Sara Lee, shut down in 2011.

"Very devastating," Smith said. "I needed the job."

But Smith has new hope.

With Governor Rick Perry on hand to announce an Omaha-based baking company called J. Skinner will soon take over the plant bringing 400 new jobs to the area.

"For the people who are going to be employed here this is a great day. People are going to be able to take care of their family better because the skinners believe in this community they believe in this facility," Gov. Perry said.

Alongside the Skinner family and Paris Mayor A.J. Hashi, Governor Perry also announced Thursday the company will get $1.8 million from the state to finalize the expansion.

After the news conference, the governor's staff tweeted a picture of Texas's highest lawmaker about to indulge in some of J. Skinner's baked goods.

Audie Keaton is the company's CEO. He says he expects hiring to begin in about ten weeks, and in an added perk, will use the majority of the baking equipment left behind by Sarah Lee.

"It's a gift," Keaton said. "We're very fortunate to find a facility that meets our needs and to have all the equipment in place and the community is really the neat part about this."

After more than a year of being unemployed and with Christmas just days away, Jeff Smith says the possibility of a new job is a gift.

"Maybe I'll work here when this place opens," Smith said.