Freshway Celebrates Manufacturing Day

Freshway Foods celebrated Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 2, with a plant tour for local dignitaries. Mike Barhorst, Mayor of Sidney, Ohio, Mark Cundiff, Sidney City Manager, Dawn Eilert, Vice President of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, and Mike Dodds, Executive Director of the Sidney Shelby Economic Partnership, were on hand for the event.

Devon Beer receives a proclamation from Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst
Devon Beer receives a proclamation from Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst

Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing, held annually on the first Friday in October, that is meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. It provides an opportunity for manufacturers to share with the community the many benefits of manufacturing jobs, including good wages and benefits, and the opportunity for stimulating work and career advancement. Manufacturing Day also encourages manufacturers to open dialogue with local civic leaders on the challenges manufacturers face, including the shortage of skilled workers and regulatory burdens that can hamper innovation.

The Sidney/Shelby County area is fortunate to have both governmental and organizational leadership that understands the importance of manufacturing jobs to our region, and Manufacturing Day offered an opportunity to invite these leaders to our facility to celebrate.

Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst kicked off the event by reading a proclamation from the City of Sidney. The proclamation read:

“Whereas: for generations, manufacturing has played a critical role in Sidney’s diverse economy; and

Whereas, fabricated metal, air conditioning compressors, food products, automotive components, recreational vehicles, plastic containers, and an array of other products are all produced in Shelby County; and 

Whereas, manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other major economic activity – $1 spent in manufacturing generates $1.35 in additional economic activity in the community; and 

Whereas, Sidney/Shelby County is home to two of the top three manufacturing employers in the Dayton Region; and

Whereas, Sidney/Shelby County experiences a net inflow of over 5,000 workers each day, paying local taxes, purchasing local goods and services; and

Whereas, Sidney/Shelby County has the highest percentage per capita of manufacturing employment of all counties in the State of Ohio, with nearly 40% of the jobs manufacturing related; and 

Whereas, Sidney has more manufacturing jobs per capita than any other city in the State of Ohio; and 

Whereas, as one of Sidney’s largest employers, Freshway Foods supplies fresh-cut produce, retail salad kits and snacks for school children, daily helping to feed more than a million people.

Now, therefore, I, Mike Barhorst, Mayor of the City of Sidney, Ohio, in recognition of the nationwide celebration that occurs annually on the first Friday in October does hereby proclaim October 2, 2015 as 

National Manufacturing Day

in the City of Sidney and urge all our citizens to celebrate and explore the many local career opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

In Witness Thereof, I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Sidney to be affixed this 2nd day of October in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand, Fifteen.”

After the reading of the proclamation, Freshway Foods company president Devon Beer shared information with the group about Freshway’s manufacturing operations and market focus. This was followed by a question and answer period, and a discussion of key City of Sidney initiatives and their impact on Freshway’s operations.

Steve Collins points out recent improvements to Freshway's facility
Steve Collins points out recent improvements to Freshway’s facility

Steve Collins, Project Manager for Freshway, led the group on a tour of our production facility. He showed the group several recent improvement that have been made to our facility as a result of our continuous improvement activities.

After the plant tour, the group had the opportunity to sample some of Freshway’s retail salads, including our Apple Rutabaga Salad, Sweet BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad, Super Veggie Detox Salad, Tangy Orange Fruit Salad and Summer Cole Slaw. We enjoyed celebrating Manufacturing Day with our local leaders, and sharing with them our commitment to manufacturing in Sidney/Shelby County.