Explore the Economic Impact of Tyson Plant Closures in the Ozarks
The recent closures of Tyson processing plants in the Ozarks have caused economic uncertainty for the region. As the region’s largest employer with over 6,000 employees between both plants, Tyson had long been the Ozarks’ primary economic driver. However, due to recent shutdowns prompted by the pandemic, both north Springfield and Monett locations now face closure—and with that, the potential for severe economic consequences. The loss of Tyson jobs could affect thousands of families in the region, with experts predicting major job losses in larger industries such as hospitality, entertainment and retail dependent on steady tourism. Additionally, with the absence of Tyson’s primary economic contribution, the regional economy may be in for a period of significant re-structuring. Local Ozarks government and business leaders are now trying to come up with a plan of economic recovery in the wake of Tyson’s plant closures. To stem the economic uncertainty, legislators plan to implement a loan program to help businesses dealing with financial hardship as they switch to new industries, while also encouraging new, non-Tyson industries to locate in the Ozarks. Additionally, new partnerships may be formed with the nearby University of Missouri to leverage the school's resources into economic development for the region. Given the drastic economic challenges the region now faces, the future of the Ozark economy remains uncertain. Time will tell if local government and business officials can successfully plan and implement an economic recovery plan for the region that can mitigate the impact of Tyson’s departure. Until then, the region’s residents will be waiting in anticipation of an economically sound future.