As OFD Foods prepares to ramp up its manufacturing presence in Henrietta, the company is actively working to fill several opening positions.
Kelly Goforth, the Director of Manufacturing for OFD Foods, discussed what attracted the company to expand into the Rochester region and the type of products it produces Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC interview on News 8 at Sunrise.
“We freeze dry quite a few different products,”said Goforth. “Our headquarters are in Albany, Oregon. OFD stands for Oregon Freeze Dry, so we freeze dry things. Many consumers might recognize the Mountain House brand. So if you backpack or camp you can find those products in any retail stores or sporting goods stores like REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart – things like that. And you can also buy on our website, MountainHouse.com. We also freeze dry other things too, so things for the government, the military. We make MRE’s for the troops. Other companies pay us to freeze dry their products for them. We do pharmaceuticals and then we also freeze dry nutraceuticals, so food additives essentially.”
Having a physical location somewhere along the East Coast became increasingly important to OFD Foods. “We’ve got customers that we dry for on the East Coast and the Midwest and so they were shipping product back and forth to Oregon and then back to them, so that was a piece of it,” Goforth explained. “When we started looking at different locations – New York State, Monroe County, and then even the Town of Henrietta were super supportive. There was a lot of incentives available.”
To that end, Goforth said Greater Rochester Enterprise was an important partner for OFD Foods as it navigated unfamiliar terrain. “They really helped us maneuver through understanding the available incentives. That was a big piece for us, and understanding in a lot of cases we knew that we were going to hire people, we knew that we were going to invest money and they helped us to maneuver and find those resources. Ongoing, they’ve been great at connecting us with different people if we’re running into delays in construction or different permitting, they’ve been great at helping to keep the ball moving. They’re very well connected and very supportive of us getting established in the community.”
The company held a groundbreaking at its new Henrietta location in April. Goforth said construction should be done this fall, with manufacturing set to begin before the new year. With that, there are a number of open positions. “We’ve already filled some but we’re still looking for a supervisor, we’re looking for a couple of mechanics and we’re looking for production operators,” she said. “The production operators, we’re looking for people that are detail oriented, that can work in a team, that are willing to solve problems and can not only solve problems but then focus on using that to continuously improve, so we’re an innovative company and we want people that like to learn and grow.”
To learn more about available positions at OFD Foods, go online at ofd.com/careers.
To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise, click here.