Got milk? Canton sure does and it will keep it that way, thanks to Superior Dairy announcing its staying and expanding in town.
The dairy, which lays claim to being the nation's largest "fluid milk producer," announced through the nonprofit economic development agency Team NEO that it will add 123 jobs as part of an expansion in the city.
Team NEO said the decision also cements in place another 313 jobs at Superior -- which is based in Canton on Navarre Road SW, where it will expand, but was being courted elsewhere.
The company said it's building new production capacity, including new aseptic processing and packaging lines it said will allow it to expand to new markets.
Superior said it will also add new manufacturing lines to make cottage cheese, sour cream and other products.
Superior was being wooed by other states, according to Team NEO's release. But a statement from Superior President Greg Soehnlen emphasized the company's local history.
"Our family has called Canton and Ohio home for 100 years. This investment continues our focus on innovation and technology that will help us expand beyond the U.S. and ultimately feed the world with the highest quality products from Superior Dairy," Soehnlen said.
State Sen. Kirk Schuring, a Stark County Republican from Canton, Ohio, said keeping Superior in town was a group effort.
"This is fantastic news for our community and Ohio," Schuring said in a statement. "It was a great partnership to ensure the project moved forward in Canton as we worked with the teams at Superior Dairy, JobsOhio, Team NEO, the Stark County Commissioners, Perry Township, the Stark Economic Development Board, as well as my fellow state elected officials."
With about 370 food processing companies or facilities located in Northeast Ohio, the region is a great location for companies such as Superior, Team NEO said.
"Our region has a competitive advantage for the food and beverage industry due to our proximity to market, skilled talent and supply-chain access," Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler said in the release.