2011-09-03 / News

No small potatoes: 123 jobs coming to Baltimore

By Scott Rawdon

BALTIMORE – A new manufacturer will be a “shot in the arm” to Baltimore’s economy as it promises to create 123 new jobs within three years.

“The Village of Baltimore is very excited,” said Fairfield County Economic Development Director Shane Farnsworth. Green Gourmet

Foods of Ohio LLC, which produces microwaveable potato products, is moving into the former Fresh Vegetable Technology facility at 210 Water Street. Fresh Vegetable Technology ceased operations several months ago, costing about 40 jobs. The facility is adjacent to the Ohio Paperboard mill and was at one time the paper mill’s box plant.

Farnsworth said the equipment remaining in the facility from Fresh Vegetable Technology matches many of Green Gourmet’s requirements and he said Green Gourmet plans to have the plant operational by October. “The equipment that’s already there will help things happen quickly,” said Farnsworth.

Green Gourmet promises to create 123 jobs in exchange for a 45 percent, six-year tax credit. The project, which has state support, involves leasing a 150,000 square feet potato processing plant and, Farnsworth said, a total investment of $8.4 million, including $6.4 million in machinery and equipment, and land and building acquisition.

“I welcome Green Gourmet of Ohio to the Village of Baltimore,” said Baltimore Mayor Robert Kalish. “I hope we have a great and long lasting partnership. It’s good news for the residents of Baltimore and Fairfield County.”

Baltimore Village Administrator Marsha Hall said she’s working with Fairfield County officials to work out the hiring process. She anticipates that most of the hiring will be done locally. She said Fairfield County has an excellent job search program. “It couldn’t have come at a better time for the village,” said Hall. “We needed this shot in the arm.”

Farnsworth said the Green Gourmet partners are finalizing some funding sources and will announce their hiring process shortly. He said they plan to fill 50 positions in their first round of hiring. They have committed to the State of Ohio to fill the 123 full-time positions within three years; the minimum pay for these positions is $12.97 per hour not including benefits.

Farnsworth said he’s not aware yet of specifically what types of positions will be available, but he said the company envisions a diversified workforce ranging from general laborers to highly skilled positions. “It’s the company’s intent to fill as many of their positions with local individuals,” he said, which will be determined based upon the position requirements and the availability of qualified local candidates.

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