The Greek yogurt maker Chobani says it will hire at least 400 people and invest $100 million in its new manufacturing plant in Twin Falls, Idaho.
The Times-News reports city officials and local and state economic development leaders brokered a deal behind closed doors to lure the New York-based company to the region. The newspaper reports the efforts started in May when Chobani’s parent company, Agro Farma, contacted the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization.
“This company shares the kinds of values we have in the Twin falls area,” says Shawn Barigar, the President and CEO of the Twin Falls area Chamber of Commerce. He says looking back to the first discussions with the company, it felt like the right fit. “They’re a very community minded industry. Their philosophy to promote local farmers helps us to preserve our heritage and these are going to be deep roots that run throughout the Magic Valley strengthening every aspect of our economy and quality of life for decades to come.”
Nearly 43,000 people live in Twin Falls. It’s a city surrounded by agriculture, mainly dairies. Chobani CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya said in a press release that played a role in the decision to locate their new manufacturing plant in Idaho. “It was a hard decision to make, but in the end, we chose Twin Falls due to its abundant milk supply, skilled labor force and tight-knit local community,” Ulukaya said.
The company hopes to have its manufacturing plant up and running by the summer of 2012. Barigar says most of the jobs will be in line production, paying an average of $14.00 an hour with some benefits.
“Psychologically it’s a huge boost to coping with the challenges we’re all facing from the recession and very slow recovery from that,” Chamber of Commerce President Barigar says. It just feels good today. We’re all very excited to keep the foot on the gas pedal and get this place open next summer.”
Chobani chose Twin Falls over locations in Nevada and California.
Check out this photo gallery of today’s announcement from TheTimes-News.