YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Valley Foods Inc. will move forward on a $4.4 million expansion of its downtown Youngstown plant and warehouse after receiving a $1.3 million loan from JobsOhio to support the project.
The expansion will add 35 jobs, bringing total employment at the plant to 62, according to a JobsOhio news release.
“We are very excited about our expansion and adding additional employment opportunities to our hometown of Youngstown. Our products are exceptional and we look forward to continuing to bring quality products to our military and expanding our customer base with our retort products,” John M. Valley, Valley Foods, vice president of Valley Foods, said.
In January, Valley Foods disclosed plans to add 14,000 square feet to its downtown manufacturing plant and warehouse. The project will include adding 7,200 square feet of manufacturing space and 6,200 square feet of refrigeration and freezer space.
The impetus for this growth is company leadership’s desire to expand their product lines as they add to their food sterilization capabilities; these enhancements will enable Valley Food Systems to bid on additional Defense Logistics Agency contract work. In business for more than 60 years, the company has served the National Guard for nearly 25 years.
“Valley Foods has carved out a niche in the food industry. Their continued success and expansion as a Youngstown company operating in the Valley for decades is a great story to be celebrated,” Sharon Woodberry, Youngstown’s director of economic development, said. “It is vital to support existing businesses that are a source of employment to local residents.”
City Council earlier this year approved a 10 year, 85% tax abatement. The proposed transfer of a quarter-acre of city-owned property adjacent to Valley Foods’ parking lot to the company is among the items on the agenda for City Council’s community and economic development committee Tuesday.
In addition to JobsOhio and the city, partners on the project include the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and Team NEO.
“We’re always pleased to support the needs of a growing family-owned business. This expansion will position Valley Food Systems for future opportunities within its industry and support the ongoing revitalization of the downtown Youngstown business district. We’re proud to have the company in our community,” Sarah Boyarko, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber chief operating officer and senior vice president of economic development, said.
“Valley Food Systems’ commitment to the Mahoning Valley is a testament to our robust food processing and manufacturing industry — including our talented workforce,” added Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “Along with our local partners and JobsOhio, we look forward to continuing to work with the company’s leadership team to ensure their continued success.”