ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene City Council and the Development Corporation of Abilene announced Friday that Great Lakes Cheese will be building a packaging facility in Abilene.

The deal will bring more than 500 new, higher-paying jobs for Abilene residents with the average salary estimated to be around $60,000 a year.

In an exclusive interview with BigCountryHomepage.com, Mayor Anthony Williams said Abilene has never had a problem with unemployment, but rather the lack of high-paying jobs.

“When that man or woman has a good-paying job, they have dignity, and when they have dignity, their families have dignity, and when families have that dignity, they will interact in ways they can not do so without that dignity,” said Williams.

Williams says the last major investment for the city was the French Robertson Prison in 1991. This investment tops that.

“I don’t know of any project of this size west of I-35 in our state,” said WIlliams.

In the interview, Williams says this is the type of deal cities like Fort Worth and San Antonio would be considering, making Abilene a Cinderella story.

Williams described this move as “spiking the football,” and now that his team has executed the first major play of the game, all that’s left to do is cheer on the next set of players.