Food processing industry companies in Greater Hazleton, including Bimbo Bakeries, Cargill Meat Solutions and Graham Packaging, have utilized their proximity to a local industrial mechanical contracting firm to efficiently handle projects ranging from factory remodeling to equipment installation at their facilities.
The Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board (L/S WIB) assists Northeast Pennsylvania manufacturing companies, including those in the food processing industry, through reimbursement and apprenticeship programs that help train new employees and upgrade skills for their existing workforce.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry awarded the L/S WIB Food Processing Industry Partnership grants to support workforce training. Industry Partnerships help businesses and industries preserve their competitive edge with a highly educated and skilled workforce. Employers may be eligible to receive up to a 65% cost reimbursement for hosting classes to upgrade the skills of their existing workforce.
Food processing industry companies throughout Northeast PA can access personalized workforce training programs and resources through Luzerne County Community College’s Continuing Education Department and Center for Business Solutions and Customized Training.
A variety of educational resources are available to companies via courses on-site at the company’s location or at one of several LCCC campuses in Northeast PA, including its downtown Hazleton location.
In addition to the benefits of its strategic location and dedicated workforce, Northeastern Pennsylvania has developed into a prime location for companies in the food processing industry because of the vast educational opportunities that further help develop its workforce.
Several colleges and universities within minutes of Greater Hazleton offer education and customized training programs that are ideal for current and future employees in the food processing industry. In addition to on-site employee training programs, educational courses are available at 10 colleges across Northeastern PAThe list includes four of Penn State University’s branch campuses, Johnson College, Keystone College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Luzerne County Community College and Lackawanna College.
Northeastern Pennsylvania colleges and universities are educating the next generation of qualified, highly-skilled employees and many of those who studied trades plan to remain in the region after graduation to seek employment.
Six colleges and universities across Northeastern Pennsylvania were ranked in the Top 100 of the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual poll of best regional colleges or universities in the north. The University of Scranton, which has made the list for 23 consecutive years, came in sixth on this year’s list, followed by Keystone College (ranked 29th), Misericordia University (44th), Marywood University (51st), King’s College (57th) and Wilkes University (85th).
Pennsylvania has a rich history as one of the top manufacturing states in the country. It routinely receives high rankings in national polls for the benefits in operations, logistics and infrastructure that manufacturers, including those in the food processing industry, find when they choose to locate their businesses. Greater Hazleton amplifies those benefits through its strategic location to major transportation routes, lower operating costs and its skilled workforce.
Pennsylvania recently ranked in the top 10 in a national poll across five crucial industry categories including manufacturing, infrastructure and exports. Business Facilities’ Annual Rankings Report placed PA sixth in the “Top Manufacturing States” category, which measures employment totals for manufacturing jobs; fifth in the “Infrastructure Upgrades” category and 10th in the “Exports” category.
Logistics companies thrive on having the combination of a prime location near major transportation routes leading to their customers and a skilled and dedicated workforce that can process orders quickly and efficient to meet industry demands.
Women’s Distribution Services (WDS) capitalized on both of these attributes and was able to expand its Greater Hazleton location in the Humboldt Industrial Park multiple times as a result. WDS now occupies a facility that stretches more than 88,000 square feet and is helping them be a major force in the food processing logistics sector.
Northeast Pennsylvania placed in the top 10 in a recent study of the best food processing locations in the United States. Mexico is one of the many international companies that have been paying particular attention to Northeast PA for its prime strategic location and quality workforce.
Over the past 10 years, Mexican investors have sunk billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and it has resulted in three of Mexico’s top food processing companies expanding their operations to Greater Hazleton and Northeast PA.
The Humboldt Industrial Park in Greater Hazleton has an infrastructure specifically designed to help companies like those in the food processing industry keep their operations running smoothly while also maintaining their sustainability efforts.
“CAN DO’s wastewater treatment plant is a state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to handle various types of industrial tenants and is environmentally friendly to the community,” said CAN DO President and CEO Kevin O’Donnell.