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C&S Wholesale Grocers to Add 600 New Jobs in Lehigh Valley Expansion Project

By Colin McEvoy on December 2, 2015

The sign outside the C&S Wholesale Grocers facility at 125 N. Commerce Way in Hanover Township, Northampton County.

The sign outside the C&S Wholesale Grocers facility at 125 N. Commerce Way in Hanover Township, Northampton County

The country’s largest wholesale grocery supply company, which already has a significant presence in Lehigh Valley, is expanding in the region, adding 600 new jobs over the next three years with a new expansion project in Hanover Township, Northampton County.

C&S Wholesale Grocers has already established a facility at 125 N. Commerce Way in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park IV. Located at the site of a former Walgreens distribution center, the company plans to invest at least $15 million on the project, which marks its continued expansion of East Coast operations in the Lehigh Valley.

“It’s always great to see new jobs come into the area, and to see a previously closed facility like this finding a new use,” said Don Cunningham, President and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. “Although Walgreens had closed down the warehouse, we knew there has been high demand to get into that area, so we’re glad to be able to work with C&S and have them come in and expand their operations.”

C&S already has three locations in Northampton County, including its largest one at 4820 Hanoverville Road in Lower Nazareth Township, near the new expansion. The company says the project will help it retain its 1,980 existing employees statewide.

LVEDC worked on this project with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the Gov. Tom Wolf. LVEDC had been meeting with C&S since the summer of 2014, and assisted them in seeking job creation grants through the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority.

Wolf issued a statement praising the C&S expansion and the jobs it will create.

“The reuse of this shuttered facility is a huge win for the Commonwealth and the Lehigh Valley region, and serves as a prime example of the importance of remaining engaged in securing new employers and opportunities to yield positive economic impacts for Pennsylvania,” Wolf said.

C&S officials were on hand in Bethlehem on Tuesday for the start of the 10th annual Live Advent Calendar, where they announced that the company would be hiring for a variety of local positions. To apply, visit WeSelectTheBest.com or text CSJOB to 25827.

C&S received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development including $1,29 million in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, according to the governor’s office.

Transportation and warehousing makes up $1.6 billion of the Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic project, the sixth-largest in the region’s overall $35.4 GDP, which reached a record-high in 2014, according to an LVEDC analysis.

Between 2013 and 2014, the transportation and warehousing portion of the regional GDP grew by 4.7 percent, the third largest of any sector behind professional and business services (6.6%) and finance, insurance, and real estate (6.2%).

Cunningham noted that there are more than 22,000 transportation and logistics jobs in the Lehigh Valley, with the sector seeing a growth of about 5,000 jobs in roughly the last four years.

“The laws of supply and demand are much more in the workers’ favor now, so these are jobs with much better wages tied to them, in the $15 to $20 range,” he said. “The biggest issue now is getting the workforce to fill these jobs, and the challenge today is finding workers with the right skills and the ability to go out there and go to work at these facilities.”

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