DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – New business is coming to Dodge City. Nor-Am Cold Storage is a western-based company that after nearly a decade of discussion, is finally expanding into Dodge City.
Nor-Am Cold Storage is a refrigerated warehouse that stores temperature-controlled products prior to their final destination.
The company has facilities stretched across Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Minnesota. Now, adding Dodge City to the list with a 35-million dollar expansion.
The expansion will include a 148,000 square foot warehouse that will house nearly 17,000 pallets.
The business held a hiring event Tuesday bringing in nearly 400 community members looking for potential employment.
“All of our jobs are essential jobs. We consider ourselves a critical part of the food supply chain, and part of our job is to feed the world and so we are going to be at work and make sure that there is food in those grocery stores, as long as it needs to be there,” said Ashley Albers, Human Resources Manager for Nor-Am Cold Storage.
The business is partnering with National Beef and Shelby Foods and is expected to bring nearly 90 essential jobs to the area.
“We are going to kinda stagger people in until we are fully staffed as production ramps up and as the warehousing side ramps up as well,” said Albers.
The company will be hiring warehouse, forklift, and high-reach operators, as well as dock and production labor.
“By mid-September, we would like to see ourselves fully staffed,” said Albers.
The build is projected to boost the local economy bringing a 3.4 million dollar increase in local personal income and another 1.1 million in local retail sales just in the first year alone.
One concern was the city’s low unemployment rate of only 3% and whether the business would be able to fill positions. However, in the first week alone, there were nearly 275 applications.
Some new employees are already at work and feel as though the business is bringing new opportunities to the community.
“It felt more of a homeplace to work at and being brand new facilities, it’s pretty exciting,” Leo Godinez-Villalobos, Maintenance Supervisor at Nor-Am Cold Storage.
Ford County Economic Development says the decision to bring the company to Dodge was an easy one.
“It brings in additional spouses to work in the community, it brings in more children into your school district, more houses purchased, and a lot more shopping, and revenues for our governmental officials as well,” said Joann Knight, Executive Director of the Dodge City-Ford County Development Corporation.
Knight also believes the new facility will benefit the rest of the meat-processing industry currently in Dodge City.
“The primary benefit to them coming in is definitely having state-of-the-art facilities that help is to expand the existing facilities that we have here and give us the opportunity to recruit even more businesses in,” said Knight.
The business will hold another round of interviews on Wednesday and is expected to begin operations on August 24.
“We’re just excited to get into Dodge!” said Albers.
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