A natural foods company set to break ground this summer is investing millions of dollars in the Town of Montgomery. Our Eva McKend has more on the hundreds of jobs United Natural Foods will bring to Orange County.
ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. -- A natural foods plant will be the latest addition to Neeleytown Road. United Natural Foods will construct a 525,000 square foot facility in the Town of Montgomery, leading to hundreds of new jobs.
“With the 300 plus jobs that they are looking for by time they get built, the first phase built up towards 2016, there will be a lot of people locally that will be going to work there,” said Michael Hayes, Town of Montgomery Supervisor.
So why would UNFI select Montgomery as the site for the corporation's second largest facility? The Orange County Partnership says it's because the county has an abundance of "shovel ready" land, zoned for commercial use.
"We market the county well. We have an amazing pro-business attitude in Orange County government and the Orange County business municipal leaders. We want business and we want it here," said Maureen Halahan, President and CEO of Orange County Partnership.
"We have a great workforce they know and have reviewed and know that we can supply them with the qualified workers that they need," said Orange County Executive Ed Diana.
UNFI's serves a huge network of specialized organic grocery stores, but there aren't that many in Montgomery. Their largest customer is Whole Foods.
Hayes said, “If a Whole Foods or one of those other companies that they deal with decide to come to Orange County, that would be another benefit of them being so close.”
“Don’t underestimate Whole Foods. They are a very fast growing company. We may see one locally soon. You never know,” Halahan said.
Pending a site plan amendment approval from the Montgomery planning board, the project will break ground this summer with the building set to open next fall.