Frito-Lay Expanding, Hiring

By Dan Shaw
The Times

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January 10, 2004

Hiring has already begun at Frankfort’s Frito-Lay plant.

Jared Dougherty, Frito-Lay public relations manager, said Thursday that the company’s plant in Louisville has closed and some of its jobs will be moved to the Frankfort facility.

“There will be an increase of jobs in Frankfort, although how many we’re not sure yet,” he said.

Dougherty said company executives will decide over the next two months where to move production from the Lousville facility and several other retiring manufacturing lines in Aberdeen, Md. and Jonesboro, Ark.

Approximately 330 workers, most of them from the Louisville facility, will be affected by the closings, according to a company press release.

Besides Frankfort, the release lists facilities in Fayetville, Tenn., Jonesboro, Ark., Lynchburg, Va., and Charlotte, N.C., as possible recipients of the extra production.

Whatever the eventual distribution, the Frankfort plant will start turning out more of all Frito-Lay products: Lays, Ruffles, Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos and Fritos, Dougherty said.

“Frankfort is our largest plant,” he said. “It produces all of our products. And that place is working amazingly well.”

The press release states that the Lousville plant and other manufacturing lines were shut down to improve efficiency. All the plants expected to grow in consequence are characterized in the release as “newer and more productive.”

Gina Sheets, economic development director and C.E.O. of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, said the hiring at Frito-Lay corroborates other signs that the county is on a path toward economic recovery.

A new factory, NTK, will be hiring about 100 people by fall. Also Lake Erie Screw has added about 25 new employees over the past year, she said.

Those coupled with Frito-Lay’s growth will replace the nearly 250 jobs that will be lost when two other factories here, Rohn and Crellin, completely shut down in the first quarter of 2004, she said.

“If you take a look at NTK alone, that will offset one plant closing itself,” she said. “And then if you look at Frito’s potential expansion and that Lake Erie Screw has been hiring — we will be definitely close to closing that gap between jobs lost and jobs gained.”

Dougherty said Frito-Lay representatives will meet with the Clinton County Council at 9 a.m. Tuesday. He declined, however, to give specifics about what will be discussed.


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