Ferrero Breaks Ground For Warehouse Expansion, Expects To Hire Up To 100 Employees

Mayor Phil Kramer and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman share a laugh while Michael Kerwin, president of the Somerset County Business Partnership, looks on at the Ferrero groundbreaking Oct, 18.

As many as 100 new jobs will come to the township as a result of a planned expansion at Ferrero USA on Cottontail Lane.

The expansion, which will bring the company’s packaging and warehousing facility to 67,000 square feet, was commemorated Oct. 18 with a groundbreaking attended by company officials and township, county and federal dignitaries.

The expansion should be completed by next summer, said Dan Degiovanni, operations manager.

The $9 million expansion was spurred by the success of the company’s Kinder Joy egg candy, which contains chocolate and a hidden toy, said Paul Chibe, president and CEO of Ferrero North America.

That follows $12 million Ferrero poured into the Somerset facility prior to the Kinder Joy launch, he said.

“As we continued to grow, our confidence in doing business in New Jersey grew as well, which is why we enhanced our presence in the state with our new North American headquarters (in Parsippany) and continued future expansion at out Parsippany office and here in Somerset County,” Chibe said.

“At the end of this year, we will be able to say that we are proud to support more than 400 full-time employees, and offer hundreds of seasonal jobs here in the state of NJ,” he said.

Also on hand was U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, who said she is “a partaker of your goodies down in Washington.”

“In choosing to expand your operations, you’re helping to grow the economy at the local and the state level,” she said. “You’re strengthening the surrounding community, and you’re bringing job opportunities to area residents.”

“Public officials often talk about the importance of business investing in our communities, not just because of the immediate job opportunities they create, but because of the interconnected nature of development,” she said. “Employment at your facility will mean more folks seeking out lunch at nearby restaurants and more folks shopping at local retailers. The people who work in these places in turn generate even more activity. That’s the synergy involved when we grow together.”

Township officials in attendance included Mayor Phil Kramer, Township Councilman Ted Chase, Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker, Vince Dominach, the township’s economic development officer.

“There are two heroes here, one is Ferrero,” Kramer said. “They had the faith in the township, they had a very tight deadline and if we couldn’t meet that deadline, they were not going to be able to stay here.”

“The other hero is under our economic development officer, the permitting process, the inspection process, the Planning Board; they came up to speed, they stood up to the challenge and they passed all the goals to bring them in. I thank Ferrero for having the faith in that.”

Franklin, Kramer said, “is open for business. This is something we worked very hard to make happen. We had a reputation for not being business-friendly, and this is a major example of going above and beyond to keep a major business in towns and it’s very sweet to have them on board.”

Somerset County was represented by County Freeholders Patricia Walsh and Mark Caliguire and Michael Kerwin, president of the Somerset County Business Partnership.

“Somerset County is a place where we all work together,” Kerwin said. “We practice the culture of collaboration, where we give a seat at the table to business, work closely with our municipalities and the county Freeholders with the help of the business partnership try to make it a good place to do business. This is what came together with this project.”

“For those who say that you can’t get things done in New Jersey, this project is a perfect example to prove you wrong,” he said. “Now we have a model to follow moving forward.”

Addressing Kramer, Kerwin said, “The work you did to make Franklin Township more business-friendly has been fantastic. Your team did a great job in meeting a really, really tight deadline, so I want to thank you.”

The FR&A live streamed interviews with the principals at the event:




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