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February 24, 2012 - 4:17pm

It's official: PepsiCo and German company bringing new jobs to Batavia

The governor's office is announcing today that PepsiCo along with a German dairy company, is building a Greek yogurt plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

The announcement confirms reports first published exclusively by The Batavian in November on the name of the company behind the once-secretive Project Wave.

The facility will employ 186 people in the first three years, according to Steve Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

"This validates our strategy of building shovel-ready sites and validates that our community and our region are well positioned for companies to locate here," Hyde said. "For a Fortune 50 company to validate our strategy -- I'm tickled pink to have a company like that commit to come here."

The plant is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Theo Muller Group.

GCEDC helped spearhead negotiations that involved Empire State Development  providing PepsiCo with a $5.7 million PILOT tax abatement over 10 years and relief from $5.4 million in sales tax on construction materials and office equipment.

Hyde said Project Wave is the biggest new manufacturing operation to come to Batavia since Sylvania opened its plant here in 1953.

Mike Piazza
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Can someone please tell me why a multi-national, multi-billion dollar business needs tax breaks to be competitive? Companies that can most afford to pay taxes seem like they're the ones that get the tax breaks all the time in Gen. Co. Why not help the small businesses, you know, the backbone of America, the ones who truly need it? Am I missing something? I think it's great that Batavia is getting an opportunity to add more jobs and put people back to work and all, but, why can't they pay their fair share in taxes.

bud prevost
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Cause they can get them, Mikey, pure and simple. It's the way business is being done now, and it has become an expected/anticipated tool in negotiations.
Quasi government/business is the reality. Look up the meaning of "facism", and you'll see the relationship.

Bob Harker
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From YNN Rochester:

"The state is providing about $13 million in tax breaks through state agencies for the deal, as well as a $1 million grant from the state's homes and community renewal program.

Genesee County will provide $12 million in tax breaks."

For less than 200 jobs.

Mike Piazza
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Sounds like bribery to me. Bud, I love that pic of you and the wife.

DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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Wondering If these are more "walmart" type jobs..no health insurance,part time,just under poverty level jobs?
Jobs are jobs and I'm glad they chose local here,but sometime one might just wonder'
Just hope they're not more seasonal positions that add to the NYS umemployment roll,ug

jeff saquella
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so if im not mistaken.....does that mean that we now will have 2 yogurt factories in the ag park?...this one and alpina?...someone please correct me if im wrong

John Roach
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Jeff,
There will be two, but they target different groups. On the other hand, if they bring jobs, I hope another one comes.

bud prevost
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The median pay for a production fill worker, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, is $11.24 an hour. The 90th percentile of these workers(i.e. experienced) is $17.92 an hour.
As for benefits, Pepsico should have no excuses. They should include health and other fringe benefits. Hopefully, the foreign company will as well.

Howard B. Owens
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If you read our previous reporting on this, you would know PepsiCo has a reputation in the industry for competing strongly for the best workers -- offering better pay and benefits than competitors.

Also, to correct Bob's post -- the plant will expand over the next 15 years to 600 jobs.

It's also important to note that this will help attract new businesses to the ag park. I didn't get time to finish writing this story, but Hyde said there are four or five solid prospects for the ag park in the pipeline.

bud prevost
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Howard wrote " I didn't get time to finish writing this story, but Hyde said there are four or five solid prospects for the ag park in the pipeline."

That's gotta be worth a bonus of $2 or 3 hundred thousand waiting to be collected by the czar of the GCEDC. And not to mention, I think he deserves a raise on his base salary. (insert sarcasm right here)

John Roach
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And of course, all the people who demand Pepsi do this or that, or object to any of this, can refuse to work for them to get even.

Billie Owens
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Yes, Jeff, there are going to be two Greek yogurt plants in the agri-business park. The product has become very popular. Try it, if you haven't already, it's really tasty!

Dave Olsen
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I gotta say, I have been eating Greek yogurt lately. Never been much of a yogurt fan, but am now older and need to pay better attention to what i put in my mouth. Should have started earlier. I like the greek yogurt, to echo Billie, try it. I like the ones with fruit in the bottom or key lime. I have it in lieu of ice cream or chips in the evening, great snack. Definitely helping me lose weight. Once these brands hit the market then we can support the local economy.
Sorry, Howard but I have to pick "Also, to correct Bob's post -- the plant will expand over the next 15 years to 600 jobs" How about "should expand" or "the plan is to expand". I doubt there's any guarantee.
I wish them both great success.

Howard B. Owens
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Dave, business, like life, nobody can predict the future.

The exciting thing about Pepsi is -- they're a really, really good company. Their research is impeccable. And they will spend the money like no other to market their product.

There is only, in my personal belief, a slim margin that they won't reach their goals.

Reading the comments on this topic, I almost feel like I'm the only person in Batavia excited about this news.

Yes, corporate welfare sucks, but so what? This is really, really good news for Batavia. Shouldn't we be celebrating rather than bitching?

Alpina, Pepsi, the mushroom plant -- that's more than 350 new jobs in our community in the next three years. For a community our size, that's HUGE. And this good, early momentum should only mean more new plants in the park and more jobs.

Yeah, we all have our qualms about GCEDC sometimes -- but this is real, sustainable success. I see no reason to be anything other than thrilled.

Bea McManis
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Howard,
You hit it on the nail. I thought about writing earlier today about the negativity but got side tracked.
Corporate welfare is part of the process. It happens all over. If Pepsi opted to go elsewhere, then the complaints would be about the lack of enticements offered to get them here.
Yogurt requires a location with adequate dairy production. Milk isn't seasonal and the jobs wont' be seasonal either.
Growing mushrooms will create jobs and the best byproduct - mulch for the garden. You'd be surprised how many mushrooms you will harvest from that mulch.
A sub shop opens and the competitors climb all over it, online, to discredit it. "No hot subs", they proclaim. I just saw the menu and there ARE hot subs.
Why can't we welcome local business, big or small, and thank them for taking the risk to operate here.
Thanks, again Howard. Great post.

John Roach
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Howard,
I think the majority of readers are excited or happy they are coming.

Daniel Jones
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Well said Howard.

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