Ehrmann Arizona Dairy
Ehrmann Arizona Dairy is under construction July 23 on Arizona 84 at Casa Grande’s western edge.
Will Kaminski - Ehrmann Arizona Dairy
Will Kaminski, site manager, is shown in the Ehrmann Arizona Dairy yogurt plant.
John Ovitt, left, Franklin Foods general manager, and Rocco Cardinale, vice president of Franklin Foods West, stand in front of milk and cream cheese silos, part of the Franklin Foods plant expected to start making Greek cream cheese on Aug. 26.
- New plants will create new jobs
Making yogurt and cream cheese requires more than machines. Franklin Foods could employ up to 60 new workers. Ehrmann could hire as many as 110 to 150 by next summer, said Lisa Tacker, the company’s human resources manager for Casa Grande.
“We have been taking resumes from the Arizona Workforce Connection.”
As of Friday, she had some 450 resumes.
Tacker herself was hired away from CAREDF, where she was director of finance. She helped Ehrmann Arizona secure a $190,000 development grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority. The grant is for an on-site wastewater treatment center.
Franklin Foods received an ACA grant for worker training.
Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson said the benefits from the new plants go beyond an expanded property tax base. With salaries alone — and these are good-paying jobs, Jackson said — a lot of money could be pumped into the community. What’s earned here would stay here.
“You get somebody making $30,000, $40,000, they can afford to buy a house in Casa Grande,” he said.
One thing they won’t be able to buy, at least in Arizona, is Commonwealth Dairy’s award-winning Maple Greek yogurt, which, of course, uses Vermont maple syrup. Chief Financial Officer Ben Johnson, however, said management is kicking around the idea of an Arizona-inspired yogurt.
“We haven’t quite pinned one down yet,” he said.
One suggestion over the transom was prickly pear Greek yogurt — without the needles.
Ehrmann Arizona Dairy plans a grand opening Oct. 17 with start-up planned for Oct. 20.
— Bill Coates
Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 8:30 am
The Commonwealth-Ehrmann dairy partnership makes Greek yogurt on a big scale. Franklin Foods makes Greek cream cheese. Making yogurt calls for milk. Making cream cheese calls for milk and cream.
And that calls for cows, lots of cows.
Or, use your
Monday, August 5, 2013 8:30 am.