AdvancePierre Foods Inc. made news in recent days that it is moving in May its corporate headquarters from West Chester Twp. to Blue Ash. The Journal-News has since learned more details about plans to also grow the West Chester operations, including the fact that any job loss in Butler County as a result of the headquarters move will be made up.
Last Monday, April 28, food manufacturer AdvancePierre said it is opening new offices in Blue Ash at the office park development The Landings, where more than 100 senior business leaders will work, consisting of about 60 executives to move from West Chester and about 40 from out-of-state operations in Oklahoma.
West Chester Twp. may be losing the corporate offices, but the township is gaining a support center to house various company-wide, shared-services such as finances, information technology, supply chain management and engineering. AdvancePierre is also expanding a research and development test kitchen at West Chester. As it is, AdvancePierre has approximately 1,000 full- and part-time workers in West Chester including the corporate offices and a meat production plant.
Renovations to open the West Chester Support Center will begin in earnest after senior leaders complete their move to Blue Ash, said Michael Sims, chief financial officer of AdvancePierre.
Jobs at the administrative support center to open “will be a combination of consolidation/relocation of some existing positions and local hiring to replace certain positions,” Sims said in an email.
“With the initial headquarter move, we will have a temporary net 30-40 person job reduction at the West Chester location that will likely be overcome in time due to growth,” Sims said.
The support center and test kitchen, which Sims said represents “significant local capital investment,” follows other investments made in recent years to grow production of meat products in West Chester, Journal-News has learned.
At the end of 2012, AdvancePierre closed a plant in Iowa and shifted production to sites in Oklahoma and West Chester, according to the company. As a result in 2013, production at AdvancePierre’s Princeton-Glendale Road facility grew by more than 15 percent versus 2012, almost $25 million of increased value, Sims said.
“We invest several million dollars per year in capital investments for the plant, and in 2012 made several million dollars of incremental investments to our production lines at this facility to accommodate the expected growth,” he said.
AdvancePierre, the largest privately-held company in the Tristate region by revenues, will continue to be a valued partner in West Chester’s business community, said township spokeswoman Barb Wilson.
“Employment opportunities are critical to the region and employment numbers are one marker of a company’s success. For a township, however, and its ‘no earnings tax’ environment, it is the investment in property and the increased valuation of that property that demonstrates the more direct impact on the community,” Wilson said. “The company’s past and future commitment to investment in the West Chester property is the more critical indicator of the value they bring to our community.”
The food manufacturing company makes fully cooked beef, chicken and pork products and sandwiches that consumers buy at grocery stores, cafeterias and vending machines. AdvancePierre, at 9990 Princeton Glendale Road/Ohio 747, is also one of the largest suppliers of protein to school systems across the country.
A pair of acquisitions in 2010 more than doubled the company’s size. That year, Pierre merged with Advance Food Co. and Advance Brands of Oklahoma, growing to a company with 11 U.S. locations. In 2011, another acquisition was made of Barber Foods in Maine, a maker of stuffed chicken.
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