Coshocton plant wins excellence award

Kurt Bain, Kraft Heinz Company Coshocton plant manager, is pictured with Dorothy Skowrunski, Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director, with the large manufacturer excellence award that was presented to Kraft Heinz at the 2017 Eastern Ohio Development Alliance annual meeting on Friday, April 28. The meeting was held at the Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek.

COSHOCTON – Kurt Bain, Kraft Heinz Company Coshocton Plant Manager accepted the Excellence Award in the Large Manufacturer category at the 2017 annual EODA meeting held at the Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek on Friday, April 28.

Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director Dorothy Skowrunski, who also serves as secretary for the Eastern Ohio Development Association (EODA) nominated Kraft Heinz for the award because of their commitment to Coshocton. Kraft Heinz is Coshocton’s largest employer and is now the nation’s sole provider for raw pork bacon under the brand name of Oscar Mayer bacon.

Skowrunski said in her nomination, “After working with Kraft’s management team, site selectors, Jobs Ohio and APEG, Coshocton was able to successfully land a major expansion project for our community. Kraft Heinz significantly increased the size of their plant in Coshocton as well as doubled their workforce. This is an investment of over $50 million in new machinery and equipment, building improvements and relocation of production lines from other locations. This is a creation of 300-350 good paying new jobs making Kraft Heinz Coshocton’s largest employer. This investment is a huge win for our local economy, as well as our region and the state of Ohio. Over the past 10 years our community has lost hundreds and hundreds of jobs forcing our residents to travel outside our region for work. This project has allowed our local workers to find work in their home community. I want to thank Kraft for making this very important investment in our community now and into our future.”

Plant Manager Kurt Bain said of the award, “It’s a great honor to be here and I’m very excited to accept this award on behalf of Kraft Heinz. There are a couple of groups of people that I would like to thank; first of all I would like to thank our very dedicated and hardworking employees back at the plant. We’ve been in business for over 30 years now; we started with two lines and about 100 employees. Now we’re up to eight lines and over 750 employees. When we first started back in 1984 bacon manufacturing was at four different sites across the United States in the Kraft Heinz network and through those 30 years each of those plants has been reloaded and fired up in Coshocton. And now Coshocton is the sole provider of raw pork bacon for the entire company.”

“The second thing I would like to do is thank all of the local and state agencies that helped us secure this project. The outcome was not certain and we were in stiff competition from other bacon manufacturers in our network. Through the help of state agencies; APEG and Jobs Ohio, the incentive packages that were offered there, at the local level we had Dorothy working tirelessly with the Port Authority, Mayor Steve Mercer and the city of Coshocton, the county commissioners really helped us secure some tax incentives and some funding to get the project approved and loaded into Coshocton.

“Once we got the project here the support did not stop there. You think about our plant being torn up, under construction and we’re still making bacon and needing to hire 350 employees, Job and Family Services of Coshocton stepped up, they allowed us to use their facilities, they screened all of our applicants, they helped us hire and provide training to the new employees that we brought into the community.

“Without them, without all of the state and local agencies helping us get it done, I don’t think we would have got it done. Thank you to everyone that helped us. I think we’re secure here in Coshocton now and for many years to come.”

The Kraft Heinz plant in Coshocton is a major supporter of the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce, the Coshocton United Way and many other community based projects. Members of the senior leadership team serve on several boards in the community. Kraft Heinz of Coshocton received the United Way Presidents Award this past year.

From Coshocton Beacon Today  |  May 1, 2017