JOHNSON COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – The small town of Cleburne is known for its charm and the railroad that runs through it. Soon the city will get a big boost in business.

A Mexico-based food company is building a new plant in Cleburne.

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According to Cleburne, La Moderna will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes,” said longtime Cleburne resident R.C. McFall. “With the toll road coming in and the railroad already here, this made all this possible.”

The opening of the Chisholm Trail Parkway this summer has increased the city’s potential for growth. The La Moderna pasta processing plant will be right off the Parkway.

(credit: La Moderna)

(credit: La Moderna)

La Moderna considered several Texas cities including Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston, but in the end liked Cleburne more. La Moderna is expanding and the Johnson County location will be the first U.S. plant for the company.

Jorge Antolin Navarrete is overseeing the project. Talking about long-term customer goals he said, “To be able to obtain those [customers] who recognize our brand from Mexico and those who are second generation Hispanics, third generation Hispanic and the American population that has not been familiarized with us.”

The pasta processing plant will sit in an industrial area on 16.5 acres.

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City officials say La Moderna will immediately put people to work. There will be several hundred construction jobs and once the plant is open it will employ 80 people.

Cleburne has loved this partnership so much that the city is now going after other manufactures in Europe.

Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said, “A lot of European manufactures are leaving Europe because of the cost of doing business. We are working very diligently to capture a lot of those businesses and show them [not only] how we do things in Texas but right here in Cleburne.”

Cain says it’s too early to get into the specifics about which companies the city is trying to recruit.

Construction on the La Moderna pasta plant begins later this year. The facility is scheduled to open in two years.

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