Fanatics to fill 1,500 seasonal positions
ZANESVILLE – More than 1,500 new job openings will soon be available in Muskingum County as the Port Authority works to expand businesses already established in the area while simultaneously trying to bring in new businesses.
Port Authority Director Matt Abbott discussed the job openings Tuesday at the Zanesville Noon Rotary Club meeting, noting that 75 percent of new jobs in Ohio were created by existing businesses.
“But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to look ahead to create job opportunities by bringing new businesses to the area,” Abbott said.
As a part of this dual approach, Abbott said that 1,500 of the new jobs would be temporary positions at the Fanatics Distribution Center that will be filled by November. Additional openings will be available at the Dollar General Distribution Center and the Autozone Distribution Center, although the number of jobs and pay rate has not been determined.
Halliburton also is expected to bring an unspecified number of jobs to Zanesville following the closure of its facility in Homer City, Pennsylvania. Of the 430 employees at the Homer City facility, more than 80 percent have the option to transfer to Zanesville or other Halliburton facilities in Pennsylvania. Abbott said the new jobs will be part of the 300 positions Halliburton said it would create when it opened a regional hub here in 2012. Abbott could not comment on the current number of employees at Halliburton.
In tandem with jobs being offered by already established businesses, Abbott discussed the opening of a new Fyda Freightliner location in Muskingum County, which he said should bring in about 60 diesel technician jobs. The average pay for diesel technicians in the region is about $43,000, according to Careers.com, although Abbott said salaries could be higher. The new Fyda center, which will be located off the Airport Road exit, is expected to open in 2016.
Abbott said it is just a first step in stimulating the county’s economy.
“Stagnation is not an option,” he said. “While we are making progress with existing businesses, we can’t be complacent about our aims in growing.”
One of the driving goals of the Port Authority is to market the county based on cost benefits to businesses interested in making a move. Labor costs in Muskingum County are about 78 percent of the national average; property taxes are lower compared with more metropolitan areas; and the county’s close access to Interstate 70, Columbus and Pittsburgh make it a prime location for manufacturing, Abbott said.
In addition to job openings, Abbott also discussed a collaboration between the Port Authority, Muskingum County Commissioners, the county engineer’s office and the mayor’s office, which has brought in $413,000 in Ohio Department of Transportation grant money to be used on road projects.
The projects include an extension of Bethesda Drive from Bell Street to Maple Avenue and the chip and seal of International Drive and Zion Ridge Road near the Wilds, Abbott said.
Participants in the collaborative group will meet Wednesday to announce specifics of the projects.
From Times Recorder | July 21, 2015