Economic Development

Hiring for Chill-Can Plant to Begin in 4th Quarter

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Joseph Company International Inc. plans to begin hiring permanent employees during the fourth quarter for its chill-can plant under construction here, and expects to make major announcements “very soon,” its chairman and CEO says.

Mitchell Joseph says construction of the second building at its East Side campus should be finished next week and a third building should be finished by Sept. 30.

“The project is ahead of schedule,” Joseph said in an email.

The company’s development agreement with the city calls for 237 full-time equivalent jobs by Aug. 31, 2021.

Joseph’s company, based in Irvine, Calif., broke ground last November on its $20 million complex, where it plans to manufacture and refine its patented technology for its self-chilling cans. The complex is being built on the site where Joseph’s great-grandfather started the Star Bottling Co. in 1921.

Earlier this year, Joseph acknowledged frustration at the pace of the project, slowed by the difficulty of assembling the individual parcels, many of which were residential properties. The city worked with the Joseph Co. to acquire the properties in the urban renewal area.

But now, Joseph and other company officials were pleased with the pace of the project. “It started off very poorly but we are very happy now,” he remarked.

“He’s very happy with the progress he’s making to date,” Mayor John McNally confirmed following Thursday’s meeting of the city’s Board of Control.

“There’s been a dynamic change in that whole area,” said Finance Director David Bozanich, who also sits on the board. The area has gone from “literally the definition of slum and blight” to “a pretty nice, new, light industrial manufacturing park,” he offered.

Four buildings are planned for the campus, although earlier this year Joseph suggested the possibility of two more.

Joseph pledged a pair of “major announcements” in May and September, he pledged March 24 at a breakfast event sponsored by the Regional Chamber.

“In May, it’ll be very exciting. And in early September, Youngstown will be more than pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Yesterday, Joseph said those announcements are coming “very soon.”

Joseph is among those to be honored Aug. 31 at the chamber’s annual Salute to Business. He will be recognized as Business Professional of the Year.

During yesterday’s meeting, the Board of Control approved a modification to its development agreement with Joseph, requiring it to provide a security interest of $1 million on equipment associated with the project, down from the $1.5 million security interest in the initial agreement.

Once the second and third buildings are completed, the city will release its lien on the equipment.

“We were wanting to ensure that the project moved forward,” Bozanich said. “Since he’s already complied with pretty much all of those early provisions of the contract, he has basically taken away any city concerns about performance issues.”

Joseph has yet to draw on the $1.5 million city grant for infrastructure improvement, the finance director noted.

Pictured: One building is finished and a second building takes shape at the site of the company’s $20 million manufacturing and technology campus.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.