The Turlock Regional Industrial Park, which is currently home to big names such as Blue Diamond Almond Growers and US Cold Storage facilities, will be welcoming two new milk powder processing facilities.
While the milk powder processing company name has not yet been released, the City of Turlock anticipates to be moving forward with the project within the next six to eight weeks as the entitlement process has already begun.
"Because the Turlock Regional Industrial Park is master planned there are staff level reviews to ensure that conditions on the project are following the industrial plan in regards to landscape and things of that nature," explained Maryn Pitt, Turlock assistant to the city manager for housing and economic development.
Once the company is disclosed and plans are approved, the City of Turlock will know how many jobs the facility will be looking to fill and intends to offer hiring services. Workforce trainings will be offered in conjunction with the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance, something which Blue Diamond took advantage of when opening their facility in the Turlock Regional Industrial Park last year.
The 2,600 acre Turlock Regional Industrial Park is a desirable place for many food processing facilities because of the master planning, water availability, strong sewer capacity and shovel-ready land, according to Pitt. Among the businesses drawn to the Park is Hilmar Cheese, which is in the process of expanding as the City is currently waiting to receive building plans from the company.
"I think Hilmar Cheese will bring from 100 to 130 jobs and what we're seeing in general is our food industry being pretty resilient in an up and down economy and not a particularly fast growing market. It seems to be recession proof and, in this case with the expansion we're seeing globally, Turlock is in a good position to take advantage of a lot of opportunities at the moment," said Pitt, referring to an increased interest from Asian markets in obtaining food products from the USA due to higher processing standards.
The expansion of Hilmar Cheese and the new milk powder processing facilities fall in line with Mayor John Lazar's vision of Turlock as the 'Silicon Valley of food processing'.
"We're also seeing interest in related kinds of businesses such as trucking companies and software companies that focus on food-related inventory and tracking that is going to build a strong and vibrant industry," said Pitt. "This is another way we can also provide jobs in software development or marketing, for example, which will boost our local economy and job availability."