A poultry processor and food product manufacturer is looking to grow its Butler County workforce.
Koch Foods, a Park Ridge, Ill.-based company, is owned by 56-year-old Joseph Grendys. It opened its doors at 4100 Port Union Road in Fairfield in October 1999 with two production lines and 50 employees, and now has seven lines with state-of-the-art equipment and 1,050 employees.
Koch Foods serve all 50 states as well as countries worldwide. It plans to hire 150 new employees for all three shifts and positions in the company’s production departments as general laborers, grinding, machine and packing operators, quality assurance technicians and the company’s warehouse departments as freezer warehouse, inventory control and data capture palletizing. The company also is growing its maintenance and sanitation departments.
Products include chicken of all kinds, including tenderloins, tenders, strips, boneless wings, chunks, popcorn, nuggets, patties, fries, bone-in chicken, fillets, wings, deli, gourmet and diced.
In 2015, Koch Foods reinvested $100 million in new state-of the-art technology to advance its processing capabilities and expand its capacity in Ohio and Mississippi. Continually updating its production lines means its turnaround times are fast and allows the company to offer its customers custom-designed products created and manufactured to fit individual needs, company officials said.
We spoke with Brian Reisen, Koch Foods’ general manager since 1998, to ask questions about employment at the company during its rapid growth, which he said has come by acquired and organic sales. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing the company and others in the industry and how is the company uniquely positioned to address that challenge?
A: “Labor due to our very low unemployment rates and rapid growth. We have career growth plans set into place with our Pay for Knowledge program with high premiums, a highly paid referral and retention bonus program, internal promotions and skill development training.”
Q: What’s the most prevalent roadblock you encounter when it comes to hiring and what can job seekers do to remedy that situation?
“Unemployment being very low and a full applicant pool. If applicants are looking for a company that value their people and their contribution, Koch Foods is the place for you. Our New Employee Pathway provides care and support with their future opportunities at Koch Foods.”
Q. Some job seekers are concerned about the limits of advancement within a company. To what degree can Koch Foods employees advance from entry-level roles to be promoted to greater positions within the company?
A: “We have always posted open positions for our employees to bid on. These employees have grown with our company from entry level positions to current Supervision, production managers and plant manager positions. We support all of our employees in their quest for a great future.”
Q: What’s the vision for Koch Food’s growth, both jobs and otherwise, for the next five years?
A: “We have ambitious growth plans to grow the company from a $3.4 billion to a $5 plus billion company in 5 years.”