By Blake Musser
July 25, 2017
There is a major job fair next week in food manufacturing. Six of the food manufacturers in Stephenson County are looking to fill more than 250 open positions. The job fair will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Aug. 2 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St.
Our community knows that one of our major economic bases is agriculture. What many may not realize is that we also have an extremely strong food manufacturing economy. Until being asked to help promote this job fair, I had no idea this industry was so strong or that it is growing this quickly. Their growth has been so great they are having a hard time filling all of their positions. Berner Food & Beverage, Snak King, Devansoy Inc, CoreFX, Nuestro Queso, Pearl Valley Farms and NIDA are coming together to hold a job fair to help fill these positions.
What I found interesting is how many of these companies produce for major private labels we use every day. I also was surprised at how large these organizations were, and that some of them are headquartered here in Stephenson County. Below is a brief company description and positions they are looking to fill.
Berner Food & Beverage is a leading private label supplier of quality food and beverage products to a majority of top retail chains. It employs more than 500 people and hopes to hire an additional 200.
Snak King is a snack food manufacturer that produces private label products. It employs 450 workers and wants to hire 25 to 30 entry-level packers, skid pullers, general utility laborers and sanitation technicians. It also needs skilled machine and forklift operators, and has one opening for an industrial electrician.
Devansoy Inc. manufactures soy- and plant-based proteins and ships bulk liquid products to packaging facilities throughout the U.S. for major and private label brands. It employs 24 workers and wants to fill six new positions in production and maintenance.
CoreFX is a custom dairy/specialty lipid ingredients manufacturer. It currently employs more than 45 employees and needs to fill nine open positions within production and maintenance.
Nuestro Queso is a specialty cheese manufacturer for Hispanic markets and produces private label products. It currently employs more than 95 people and needs to hire new employees in production, packaging, and maintenance.
Pearl Valley Farms is an egg ranch providing conventional, cage-free, organic and specialty shell, liquid, powdered and whole egg products, and it produces a specialty organic fertilizer. It produces more than two million eggs a day. It currently employs more than 200 people and looks to hire in production, processing, packaging, trucking and administrative departments.
One of the successes of Collaborate Freeport is more people and organizations are coming together in collaboration to tell their stories. Berner Food & Beverage saw the opportunity in collaborating on filling these positions by holding a joint job fair with other local food manufacturers. Thank you to these corporations for helping strengthen our economy and demonstrating an All-In approach.
Please help spread the word. Journal Standard article link.