Heartland Goodwill Enterprises* is proud to announce our largest endeavor to date: an AbilityOne contract to package soybean oil for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) international and domestic food aid program.
The oil packaging operation is projected to create 40 jobs, both for people with and without disabilities. Goodwill will hire a Quality Director and a Maintenance Manager in early 2020 and begin hiring supervisors, quality technicians, oil receivers, material handlers and production workers soon after. Open positions and descriptions will be posted on www.workatgoodwill.com
This project also has international impact. Vegetable oil packaged by Goodwill will support the humanitarian work of the World Food Program. Their food aid efforts touch more than 80 countries and 80 million people who are food insecure each year. Two-thirds of their work is in conflict-affected countries. The World Food Program also provides food assistance to those affected by emergencies such as natural disaster.
Total start-up costs are projected at just under $7 million. Start-up expenses include the initial product and supply inventory, consulting fees, facility rent and utilities, personnel and training, facility renovations and equipment expenses.
Jonathan Olson has recently joined Goodwill as Plant Director for its new vegetable oil packaging operation. Olson has a degree in biology and over 20 years of management experience in the food industry. He also has experience working with soybean oil and start-up projects. Olson is excited to be a part of the Goodwill organization.
He said, “We will be making a product used to help people all around the world. In addition, we will be training and developing people to work in the food industry that would normally not be granted this opportunity. I get to help people, help the community and manage an exciting new start-up.”
Goodwill’s Vice President of Operations Jessica Schamberger said, “I’m most excited about creating jobs and watching people learn new skills on our automated line. I have a vision for the future of our packaging business, but it all starts when that initial steel can goes down the line and the first truckload of humanitarian food aid pulls away from our dock.”
Miron Construction was contracted to do needed facility improvements with oversight from Power Engineers. Interior work is still underway and will be followed by equipment installation. You can check out the latest updates in our video guided tour here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFKu0IR6M9k
The goal is to begin packaging by this summer.
*Heartland Goodwill Enterprises (HGE) is a nonprofit organization established by Goodwill of the Heartland in 2013 to create jobs for people with significant disabilities through the AbilityOne Program. https://www.goodwillheartland.org/what-we-do/business-solutions/heartland-goodwill-enterprises/