Chobani CEO Touts Twin Falls Labor Force

Image TWIN FALLS • Chobani President and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said Tuesday that a skilled labor force, as well as plentiful milk supply, was a big factor in the company choosing Twin Falls for its $300 million plant.  Ulukaya was in Twin Falls to view progress at the plant. He also appeared Tuesday at the College of Southern Idaho, where Business Plus Inc. officials gave $150,000 to the Chobani senior management team and the city of Twin Falls. The money will help pay for utility upgrades to wastewater pre-treatment and for natural gas connections.

Ulukaya did not give a completion date for the new 900-square-foot plant, saying only it will be done before the end of 2012. It will be the second outlet for the Greek yogurt manufacturer, which now produces its product in New Berlin, N.Y.

The Twin Falls plant will have a beneficial economic ripple effect for the local area, Ulukaya predicted.

“A lot of businesses will follow Chobani’s footsteps, a lot of suppliers,” he said.

He also credited CSI for developing a key training program for newly hired Chobani management employees, saying higher education is critical to Chobani’s success.

“There’s a lot of talent in colleges,” Ulukaya said. “We need that knowledge. We have some amazing people on our team, but we need that training to help us.”

Training is continuing on the CSI campus through Friday. Chobani is expected to provide up to 500 jobs here, and company officials have said most will pay at least $14 an hour.

Mitch Watkins, Business Plus co-president, said the economic development organization is happy to help finance infrastructure for Chobani.

“Our mission is to support companies that provide living wage jobs in the valley,” he said. “Chobani fits that bill. It’s the type of employer that we try to support and that’s the reason we made the large investment in Chobani.” BY STEVE KADEL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07