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Americold adding 100 jobs in Ontelaunee warehouse

Plant is being expanded for Perdue Foods

Expansion bringing jobs to Berks County

ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa. - One hundred new jobs have been created by the expansion of a temperature-controlled distribution warehouse under construction in Ontelaunee Township, Berks County.

But most of those 100 people already have been hired, according to a spokesman for Americold, which owns the plant.

The 96,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled plant expansion is being done by Americold to handle distribution for Perdue Foods products to customers in the northeastern United States.

The status of the project was announced by Americold and Perdue Foods in a joint news release Monday.

Elaborating in an interview Monday evening, Americold spokesman Todd Sheldon explained the storage facility will be 50 percent larger and all that new space exclusively will be used for Perdue products. 

He said it will be up and running by mid-June.

"Most of the hiring is complete," said Sheldon.

He said the warehouse straddles the Leesport/Ontelaunee Township boundary. It handles products for Perdue as well as  other companies, but the new section will be strictly for Perdue.

The expanded warehouse will handle Perdue products previously distributed from a Perdue-owned distribution center in Georgetown, Del. 

The Berks County distribution center is about three hours closer to most Perdue customers than the Delaware center, which is being converted to a shipping center serving an adjacent Georgetown processing plant.

Americold has a long-standing partnership with Perdue.

Americold owns and operated 177 temperature controlled warehouses in the United State and other countries.

It creates "customized solutions for our customers that meet the needs of their growing businesses," said Fred Boehler, president and chief operating officer of Americold.

Lester Gray, a senior vice president at Perdue, said  the expanded warehouse supports Perdue's growth and will improve customer service.

Stated Perdue chairman Jim Perdue: "This move reinforces Americold and Perdue's joint commitment to Pennsylvania.

"In addition to the farm families who raise our organic chickens and the farmers who supply grain, we are pleased to be partnering with Americold in Pennsylvania  and look forward to other opportunities to increase our presence in the state." 

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