Archbold, OH

ConAgra Stays Put In Archbold

Everyone, from ConAgra employees to village government officials to the man on the street, heaved a sigh of relief Thursday, Sept. 20, when ConAgra officials said the Archbold plant would remain open for the foreseeable future.

Exactly 371 days ago corporate headquarters said the plant would close.

Corporate headquarters said the decision to keep the plant open is the result of “new opportunities for the canning platform.”

No matter what is said, one of the decisive factors in keeping it open was the response of the employees.

No one can say enough about the winning spirit and can-do attitude of the employees. Rather than sulking in a corner and letting things slide while waiting for the axe to fall, they pulled together and turned the Archbold plant into a top performer.

It wasn’t done without help. The Village of Archbold took part and discovered ways to help ConAgra managers cut costs. County and state governments helped.

Archbold has a long history of helping. When it was La Choy Food Products, the village undertook a massive expansion of the water treatment plant to supply the ever-increasing demand of La Choy.

The village was in the midst of a multi-million dollar wastewater treatment plant expansion last year when the closure news came. The project was undertaken basically for one customer- ConAgra.

Village officials cut water rates, sewer rates, and recently gave a tax abatement so the plant could qualify for a Toledo Edison electricity rate cut.

Anyone who says government isn’t responsive to the needs of business doesn’t know Archbold.

Ever since the original La Choy founders moved the plant from Detroit to Archbold in the 1940s, the factory on Stryker Street has been a signature company of the community.

Today, it employs workers from all over Northwest Ohio, paying good wages, allowing employees to support families.

For decades, La Choy, and later, ConAgra paychecks have put food on the table, paid college tuitions, and met mortgage payments. The checks paid to straighten crooked teeth, buy back-toschool clothes, and make payments on snazzy new vehicles.

Now that ConAgra officials still need Archbold, the long tradition can continue.

The ConAgra team is not ready to quit. That’s good for Northwest Ohio.

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