An incoming business will add close to 90 jobs over the next couple years.
Di Manufacturing, a gluten free pizza company, is coming to McPherson and is owned by their parent company Toba, a food distribution company based in Grand Island, Nebraska. The company will offer many benefits to the McPherson community.
"The company offers financial services, health benefits and everything down to all the subsidiaries like company management and leadership. Its a very family run business — its a style we choose," said Thomas Wald, executive vice president of sales and marketing at the Toba, Inc. location in Grand Island, Nebraska.
The last pizza production company McPherson had was Nation Pizza, which opened in 2002 and closed in 2014. Di Manufacturing will fill Nation Pizza’s previous location in McPherson.
By March of 2018, the community could see gluten free pizzas from McPherson hitting the stores.
"We hired our first employee there (McPherson) last week. We are traveling down every week from Grand Island and will until we get this plant up and running," Wald said.
Wald explained the hiring process will begin small and more jobs will be added as the plant grows.
"We call that line 1.0. We feel its a benefit to put in a smaller crew to start our process down there and get the plant up and running to make sure we have it running right before we put in line 2.0, which is the really speedy fast economical line that produces more. Then we'll hire the rest of the staff. Our goal would be to hire a full staff by June 15," Wald said.
Although this process may take a while, Wald said there's a method to their madness.
"We pride ourselves on being slow to hire, I don't mean that in a bad way, just because when we create a job we don't ever want to have to eliminate that job, so we want to make sure we're hiring the right people at the right amount early and as we grow, so when we grow aggressively, we will add those people as we go," Wald said.
Wald said to start, they will hire around 35 employees and will use about 70 percent of the building itself, due to its large size of 100,000 square feet.
Di Manufacturing is looking for employees who fit specific roles with experience and have a good quality work ethic.
"First and foremost, we need a plant manager, a quality assurance manager, maintenance manager, production manager, line supervisors, right-hand people and line personnel who assemble the products," Wald said. "We look for talent, experience and fit. We really think we have a competitive advantage in how we hire by putting the right people in the right job and we want people to be successful. People deserve to be successful and feel that rather than being put in a job that they’re not good at."
Wald said there were many reasons and factors why they chose McPherson as their ultimate location.
"Choosing McPherson had a combination of factors. There was already a building there sitting vacant, more importantly the people. McPherson is midwestern and only three hours away from Grand Island and its similar in the type of people that make up the community. Kasi Morales (director the McPherson Industrial Development Company) has been an integral part in seeing the vision of the town," Wald added. "Its a good fit. We've met a lot of the folks in the community I've been to several meetings, its a very good comfort zone and we believe we can find the right staff to put in that building to be successful."
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