Dollar General Corporation announced last week it purchased a cold-storage facility at the Highridge Industrial Park.
The company says it will add 100 full-time jobs to the Schuylkill County economy over the next 3 years, according to a press release from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
“We applaud Dollar General for expanding their operation in the commonwealth, and for bringing significant economic investments and jobs to communities in the Schuylkill area,” Wolf says in a statement.
The Schuylkill area? Whatever.
The move adds Dollar General to Wegmans, Walmart, and Tyson Foods as companies that operate cold storage facilities at Highridge, outside Gordon.
Dollar General purchased a 140,000-square foot facility to house this storage operation. A cold-storage building allows for keeping perishable foods available for distribution to local stores. Dollar General continues to expand into Schuylkill County. They have locations in the following communities:
- Pine Grove
- Valley View
- Mahanoy City
Why Schuylkill County?
Apart from its proximity to so many of its stores, the cold storage facility at Highridge expects to distribute perishable foods to 300 Dollar General stores.
“As Dollar General embarks on our DG Fresh initiative, we sincerely appreciate the partnership from state and local leaders on this project and look forward to a longstanding presence throughout Pennsylvania,” says Dollar General’s VP of global supply chain Mike Kindy.
Of course, the modern storage facility at Highridge along with its proximity to Interstate 81 makes this an ideal location for Dollar General.
But those tax breaks the company received surely sealed the deal.
According to Gov. Wolf, Dollar General received:
- $200,000 in job creation tax credits
- $45,000 workforce development grant
Locally, Schuylkill Economic Development Corp. (SEDCO) chair David Snyder says, “We are pleased that Dollar General, as a nationally-recognized retailer, has acquired this cold storage facility at the Highridge Business Park joining Wegmans, Wal-Mart, and Tyson Foods in putting food on the table of families in the Northeast marketplace,” said David Snyder, chairman of SEDCO.”
More Jobs in Schuylkill County
Immediately following the announcement of these 100 jobs coming to Schuylkill County, rampant criticism of the decision on social media could be seen. Of course, this announcement comes on the heels of the recent announced closing at AdvanSix just outside Pottsville. That closing cost 85 people their jobs.
“More distribution …” or “More warehouse jobs …” is the common lament.
Do people expect tech startups to invade Schuylkill County looking for job-hungry residents? It’s not going to happen.
And these people often never say what kind of jobs, exactly, they expect. More often than not, the people complaining about these jobs never work in them.
These jobs are as essential to the American and local economies as any others.
For the 100 people who get these jobs, that’s likely as many as 100 families in Schuylkill County who have a modest living wage and a secure job. That could equal hundreds more people with even just a few bucks of disposable income in their pockets. That money could benefit other businesses in the area.
Bemoaning these jobs is ridiculous and elitist. We all can’t be coders and scholars. And it ignores the fact that Schuylkill County, as a whole and as it’s often remembered, was built by the blue collar workers. Those old photos you see of local communities in their heydays were built by people in jobs just like these.
With Schuylkill County’s unemployment still above the national and state averages, a tick to the positive is not a bad thing.