Bob Evans is adding jobs and already considering expansion at its new $5 million transportation center here.
An open house Saturday will allow business leaders a look at the new 26,000-square-foot facility off Green-Field Drive in Airpark Ohio. The company employs 117 people there, and 44 of those are new jobs, said Kirk Frazee, transportation manager.
Employees were hired to fill slots as office workers, mechanics and drivers. Plans include hiring up to 10 additional drivers.
The company recently opened up new routes to Oregon and Washington, and Frazee said he’s looking to “fill in the spaces in between” there and the Ohio center with new sales contracts and deliveries. That could mean expansion, he said.
“The company is on a boom,” Frazee said. “The more our salesmen sell, the bigger this transportation center’s going to get.”
Leila Vaughn of Xenia said she thought she was going to have to “take some time off” after learning she would lose her job at the SuperValu distribution center in Xenia last year. However, she was fortunate enough to find new employment as an office worker at the Bob Evans transportation center, coordinating trucks shipping out grocery products to the Northeast.
“I didn’t realize how much was going on with Bob Evans in this area,” she said. “It’s really nice to work here. It’s a nice family (and) team environment.”
The center is strategically located across from Millard Refrigerated Services, which prepares Bob Evans’ grocery products for delivery. It’s also ideally located not far from the Interstate 70/75 interchange, key to distribution to all 48 continental states, Frazee said.
The growth is good news for Clark County, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re pleased to see Bob Evans’ investment in the community and are happy for their continued growth. It underscores the logistical advantage and proximity to major transportation routes we have here,” he said.
The center is part of the nearly $165 million Bob Evans has invested in the Clark County area in the past five years. Those investments include renovating three restaurants. Bob Evans is also the first corporate partner for the STEM school. The company will provide internship opportunities for students and provide assistance with building a curriculum focused on food, fuel and fiber industries.
In March, Bob Evans sold its West Jefferson Street sausage plant, where it employed 52 people.
Openings for the transportation center can be found on the company’s website at www.bobevans.com by clicking on the “Our Company” tab and selecting “Employment.”