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Heinz adding 20 workers in expansion

Melissa Topey • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The turnaround comes on the announcement that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 65 percent, nine-year tax credit to the company on condition that Heinz creates 275 jobs worth $6.5 million in new yearly payroll.

About 250 jobs will be created at the company’s expansion project in the city of Massillon but around 20 jobs will be added in Fremont.

The news provided relief to Fremont officials, considering Heinz and its new owners Berkshire Hathaway and private equity firm 3G Capital announced in August it was cutting 600 jobs across the United States and Canada as it moved toward becoming a privately owned company.

At that time the fate of any job cuts at the Fremont plant was unknown.    

The Fremont plant employees about 425 people.

“They are investing a lot of dollars in Fremont,” said Michael Jay, director of economic development for Fremont.

That includes upgrades to the commercial vats used to cook the ketchup and upgrading the building, Jay said.

“We are optimistic of the future. Fortunately for us in Fremont we are doing really well” Jay said.

Heinz is looking to move forward from recent news of more closings, this time in South Carolina and Idaho, as it becomes more streamlined and competitive.

“Heinz is proud to be growing in Fremont, and grateful for the support and assistance that have been provided by the State of Ohio. Adding capacity will create 20 well-paying jobs and further enhance Heinz’s best-in-class efficiencies and brand leadership. Our investment in this project underscores Heinz’s commitment to growth, quality and innovation.

“We look forward to Heinz’s next chapter in Fremont and to continued collaboration with our partners in business, government and the community,” said Michael Mullen, company spokesman.

Most of the credit will go to the Massillon factory, which will become the Frozen Food Center of Excellence where Heinz plans to add 249 manufacturing jobs, Mullen said.

The nine-year tax credit is estimated to be worth about $865,000 total, but the actual value cold vary based on the number of jobs created and new payroll tax generated, said Stephanie Gostomski, spokeswoman for the Ohio Development Services Agency.

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