GONZALES — Mann Packing broke ground on its Gonzales location in front of the Mann Packing Fast Track Team, Pack Man, CEO Lorri Koster, Mayor Maria Orozco, Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Silva, City of Gonzales staff and the fourth generation Mann Packing children on Aug. 2.
“We so look forward to getting to know the city and community better as we become neighbors here in the community,” Koster said. “We are excited and set to go.”
Mann Packing is working with Bali Architects to start and complete the Gonzales location in the Agricultural Industrial Business Park at 49 Katherine St.
The Gonzales processing facility is 130,000 square feet of expansion and was selected because of its convenient location and zoned industrial area. Mann Packing also has purchased land for future expansion. An estimated 250 people will be employed at the new facility.
“Welcome Mann Packing to our city, to our community,” Orozco said. “You will find that here in the City of Gonzales, we do it the Gonzales way. We just get things done. It’s a fast process, it’s a one-stop center here for us in the city and we have a great staff that makes things happen.”
Orozco spoke with some of the Gonzales youth who are preparing to graduate from college and asked what their career aspirations were. They said, “Agricultural.” From ag technology or food safety, the focus was on agriculture, and they welcomed the job opportunities that Mann Packing could offer to those new entrants into the work force.
According to Mann Packing, 65 percent of the company’s manufacturing volume will relocate from Salinas to the Gonzales facility. The Salinas Mann Packing location at 1250 Hansen St. will continue to process fresh-cut vegetables but will mainly serve as the company’s central warehouse, cooling and shipping facility.
The construction of the Gonzales processing facility is targeted for completion in early 2018 and production is set to begin in the spring. The facility aims to use the windmill turbine to supply energy for heating and cooling and achieve the goal of electric sustainability.
The Fast Track team is a director level of employees who created the growth to need the Gonzales facility, according to Koster. Included in the Fast Track Team is Research and Development (R&D), Quality Assurance, Supply Chain, Purchasing, Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Information Technology (IT).
“This is an incredible day for the city,” City Manager Rene Mendez said. “It continues to build on the city vision and taking advantage of our strength. Our strength is the ground and our partners that we have, Dennis Capra, Carracoli and now Mann Packing.”