Columbus, OH – Niagara Bottling LLC, the largest privately-held, family-owned manufacturer of bottled water in the country, has announced it will invest $50 million in the Columbus Region, starting with the purchase of a 308,000-square-foot facility in Gahanna. The new operation will result in 73 jobs, with an average hourly wage of $19.99. Total payroll is expected to reach $3 million by the company’s third year of operation.
“We looked at Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky because of existing customer demand. In the end, we chose this community because of the available workforce, the competitive opportunities and our ability to make a difference,” said Honey Rand, Niagara spokesperson. “We’re convinced that this is the right time and the right place. We’re a great fit and poised for a very exciting future.”
The Ontario, Calif.-based company, which started bottling five-gallon glass containers of water for homes and offices in the early 1960s, now supplies single-serve, private label bottled water to grocery, club store, convenience and wholesale customers throughout the United States. Niagara currently operates 10 plant locations, with two additional sites in development. The Columbus Region facility, slated to be the 13th plant, will focus on product manufacturing.
When exploring options for its newest plant location, Niagara considered Louisville and Detroit before settling on the Columbus Region. The region, and Gahanna specifically, were chosen because of existing customer demand in Ohio and contiguous states.
“We are excited to welcome Niagara to the Gahanna Community,” said Becky Stinchcomb, Mayor of Gahanna. “We are impressed that Niagara is demonstrating their long-term commitment to our community by purchasing and investing in vacant real estate. They are an impressive, family owned business that will create jobs and be a great corporate citizen in the City of Gahanna.”
“Competing against multiple communities in the Midwest, Gahanna and the Columbus Region rose to the top because their commitment to being a partner with business,” said City of Gahanna Director of Planning & Development Anthony Jones. “Our goal is to create an environment where it is easy for businesses to invest.”
Attracting Niagara to the Columbus Region involved collaboration at the local and regional levels between the City of Gahanna and Columbus 2020, and at the state level with JobsOhio.
“The teamwork between the City of Gahanna, Columbus2020, and JobsOhio exemplifies how as a state we can successfully attract valuable companies such as Niagara Bottling to Ohio,” said Mark
Patton, managing director for JobsOhio. “We are pleased that Niagara chose Ohio for its newest facility and value the jobs that come with their commitment.”
Manufacturing is a growing sector in the Columbus Region, employing nearly 80,000 people in the 11- county region and contributing $9.1 billion to the regional economic output. Key advantages the Columbus Region offers to current and prospective manufacturers include one-day access to 50 percent of the U.S. and Canadian population, a talented and educated workforce, and world-class resources like Edison Welding Institute (EWI) and the Ohio Manufacturing Institute (OMI) at The Ohio State University.
“Adding another notable manufacturer like Niagara to the region speaks volumes about the caliber of companies we’re attracting, and why they are choosing the Columbus Region over other competing metropolitan areas,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “We look forward to continuing to watch Niagara and others succeed in our region.”
Hiring for Niagara’s new Gahanna plant will begin in the fall of 2012, with open positions ranging from shift supervisors and mechanics to shipping associates and production operators. The facility is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2013.
About Niagara Bottling LLC
Niagara Bottling is the largest family-owned bottling company in the United States. Niagara is committed to providing the highest quality product and service to its customers, being an exemplary corporate citizen, providing good jobs and protecting the environment.
About Columbus 2020
Columbus 2020 is a bold public-private partnership that leverages the strengths of the Columbus Region’s talented workforce, small and large businesses, research and academic institutions, and international connections to ignite economic growth and build a healthier, more sustainable future for Central Ohio. The initiative grows our economy by ensuring that our existing companies are growing and thriving, that the world’s leading companies are attracted to the 11-county region, that innovations are cultivated and commercialized, and that our civic infrastructure is continually improving to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world economy. For more information, visit ColumbusRegion.com.