Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, today opened the newest milk processing facility in the state of Indiana. Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined Walmart executives and Allen County Commissioner Therese Brown Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the company’s 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art milk processing plant in Fort Wayne. Walmart, which began construction on the plant in 2016, has hired nearly 200 new Walmart associates to work in both milk processing and transportation and created over 100 additional jobs in the Hoosier dairy industry.
“This new facility is a vote of confidence in our state, in the northeast Indiana region and the Fort Wayne community,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Even more, it’s a vote of confidence in our people. Today, we celebrate 300 new jobs for talented Hoosiers. That’s great news for those employees and their families, and it’s more evidence that Indiana is on a roll with its pro-business climate and skilled workforce.”
The new plant at 2150 West Pleasant Center Roadwill produce Great Value white and chocolate milk for nearly 500 Walmart stores in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. Bottling began last week and the plant will be at full production later this year. Milk will be sourced from nearly 30 dairy farms in both Indiana and Michigan with these farms being an average of 140 miles from the plant.
“This new plant is a perfect example of the kinds of efficiencies Walmart seeks in our supply chain to benefit our customers,” said Tony Airoso, senior vice president of sourcing strategy for Walmart. “Farmers and associates in Indiana have been critical in getting us to this point. As we begin to bottle milk for our customers in the area, they will continue to be the biggest factor in our success.”
Walmart worked closely with local officials to build the plant in in Northeast Indiana after the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) released its 2015 dairy strategy, aiming to expand the Hoosier dairy industry and capitalize on the state’s growing production capability and strong workforce.
“When a company of Walmart’s size and scope comes to our community with hundreds of steady jobs, we welcome their investment,” said Allen County Commissioner Therese Brown “It’s rare that a single project can do so much for the business, agricultural, and workers’ interests at one time, and we in Allen County are excited to have this opportunity to partner with Walmart.”
In conjunction with the opening of this facility, Walmart has awarded $10,000 in grants to local organizations that focus on the future of agriculture.
New employees at the dairy processing plant join nearly 40,000 associates across Indiana among Walmart’s 130 retail units and 10 distribution centers in the state. Walmart is also proud to support local businesses in Indiana, spending $2 billion with Hoosier suppliers in the retailer’s fiscal year ending 2017 which supported nearly 59,000 supplier jobs.