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New St. Johns Dairy Processing Plant to Employ Over 250 People

Michigan Business Beat
January 10, 2019 12:00 PM


Edythe Copeland, CEO, Capital Area Michigan Works! Joins Chris Holman on the Michigan Business Beat to talk about a new dairy processing plant being built in St. Johns that will employ more than 250 people. 

A $555 million dairy processing plant is being built in St. Johns. It is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in two years. When finished, it will be the largest plant ever in mid-Michigan and will have the capacity to process a quarter of all the milk produced in Michigan each year. Edythe discusses the opportunities and challenges this providing the job market, already facing a talent gap.

The plant is expected to employ more than 250 people. It has the potential to bring an additional 600 jobs to the local economy of the ancillary businesses that will spring up as a result of the addition of this plant and increased demand for retailers and services. With its central location in the state, we expect the plant to draw workers from beyond the region, such as from Ionia and Shiawassee counties. This will create a positive cascading effect. More money will go to schools and the region’s economy as a whole.

Most jobs will be in areas such as maintenance, safety, lab work and automation, which require certifications. A handful of positions will require either a bachelor’s or master’s degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly wages in dairy processing typically range from $15 to $35 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $21.58. Although prospective employees have some time to wait — since the plant won’t be hiring the bulk of its employees for about a year — job seekers are excited about this facility and the opportunities it brings.

St. Johns American Job Center is located at 101 W. Cass St., Suite A, St. Johns, MI 48879 and can be reached at (989)224-2000.

For more information visit www.camw.org. Capital Area Michigan Works!

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Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman, discusses economic development, new or unusual entrepreneurial initiatives, and successful business practices from different regions and industries around Michigan with a wide range of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

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