By Peter Becker Managing Editor
GREENE TWP. – New promise of good jobs has come to the area, with the announcement of the planned opening of All Fresh Farms this year in Greene Township, Pike County. At least 200 jobs are expected in the many phases of production at the hydroponic plant, which will grow and package lettuces, kales and basil year-round.
“We are excited about opening this facility in Pennsylvania and very impressed with the professionalism and interest shown by the Governor’s Action Team and the Department of Community and Economic Development,” said Steve Nelson, All Fresh Farms owner, in a released statement. “This strong welcome really solidified our decision to come to Pennsylvania. Our leafy vegetables and other produce will be labeled “locally grown” as we deliver to markets within 400 miles which will include Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City. This is a great location with a great welcome to our company. We are looking forward to hiring and training employees this summer and hopefully selling our first crops by the fall.”
Michael Sullivan, Director of the Pike County Economic Development Agency (EDA), in concert with the County Commissioners, has been the lead point man in working with the new business. Sullivan stated that the company expects to pay starting wages of $12 to $15.
“We’re thrilled,” said Cindy DeFebo, Director of Pike County Workforce Development Agency. “This is definitely a shot in the arm; it’s definitely needed.” She said that her office has been receiving “tons” of inquiries and has been receiving resumes. At this point they are immediately forwarding the resumes to the Pike County EDA. DeFebo said she expected to meet with All Fresh Farm officials by the middle of June, when she expects to learn more. As of June 9th, she had not received job descriptions.
One point of interest that she was able to share is that All Fresh Farms is very interested in hiring veterans.
Anyone looking for job information in Pike County is encouraged to stop in at the Pike County Workforce Development Agency, located at the Shohola Business Park, Route 6, west of Milford. DeFebo said she would prefer that people stop in so that they can be entered into the state job registry, rather than simply sending a resume. The office may be contacted at 570-296-2909.
••• Fills a gap The arrival of All Fresh Farms fills a gap after the closure of Swiss Maid, a few years ago. All Fresh Farms is located in this 50,000 square foot facility, with plans to double the size of the building on the 10 acre parcel. The company plans to invest more than $3.4 million at the new site.