The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 15, 2014

Schreiber Foods schedules Carthage plant expansion

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Plans to expand a Schreiber Foods plant to eventually add 160 new jobs have been endorsed by a Carthage committee working with the company.

Andrew Tobish, director of combinations for Schreiber, which is based in Green Bay, Wis., confirmed the project, which he said would be complete by late spring or early summer in 2015. The expansion will take place at the huge Fairview Avenue plant constructed by the company several years ago.

“There won’t be that much construction; a lot of it will be filling up existing space in that facility,” Tobish said.

The jobs would be added over a three-year period. Tobish said some of the new positions — though he could not specify how many — will be taken by workers currently employed at a Schreiber plant in Clinton that is closing.

The Carthage Enhanced Enterprise Zone Committee last week approved tax breaks for the project, which is to include constructing about 29,000 square feet of new space and repurposing about 67,000 square feet of existing space to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.

The project will include about $30 million in real estate projects, with about $4.5 million qualifying for tax breaks. The company also plans to install $60 million in new machinery and equipment in the plant.

The schedule endorsed by the enterprise zone committee calls for taxes to be cut by 100 percent for six years, 75 percent for four years and 50 percent for two years., according to Mark Elliff, president of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce who handles economic development for the city. That would translate to an estimated $850,000 in lost tax revenue over a 12-year period, with most of that coming from revenues that otherwise would go to the Carthage School District.

“But it would be temporary, and they’re adding good-paying jobs,” Elliff said.

The average wage for jobs to be created by the project would be $17.50 per hour, according to materials filed with the city.

The company also will seek breaks on personal property taxes on the new equipment to be bought for the plant.

The Fairview operation currently employs about 400 workers.

Among the largest

SCHREIBER FOODS is one of the largest dairy companies in the world, producing and distributing cheese, processed cheese, cream cheese and yogurt. The company is employee-owned.

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A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

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