Opinion: Kraft brings bacon to Coshocton

Ray+Paoletta+is+a+junior+political+science+major+and+a+columnist+for+The+Kent+State.+Contact+him+at+rpaolet1%40kent.edu.

Ray Paoletta is a junior political science major and a columnist for The Kent State. Contact him at [email protected]

Ray Paoletta

By next year, Coshocton, Ohio, will be the sole producer of Kraft Food’s bacon. This is big news for an area that already produced about two-thirds of Kraft’s bacon. As a result, 300 new jobs will be created in Ohio along with a $40 million investment in the area.

According to the Coshocton Port Authority, Coshocton County has lost 42 percent of its manufacturing jobs over the last 14 years, and the recent bacon production news has the county feeling hopeful. The hope is that these new jobs will help boost the Coshocton County economy that currently has a 6.5 percent unemployment rate. The new jobs are estimated to pay $14 per hour and add $8.7 million in payroll annually in addition to the current $14 million in annual payroll from the current Kraft production in Coshocton.

Coshocton Mayor Steve Mercer was also excited to hear the news. In an interview with the Coshocton Tribune he said, “They have been an excellent partner in our community, we want to work with them in whatever capacity needed.” Furthermore, Mercer applauded the stable manufacturing environment in Coshocton making it an ideal place for Kraft to expand.

The State of Ohio and JobsOhio also did their part in convincing Kraft to Expand. As part of the move, Kraft will receive a 10-year, 60 percent tax credit along with property tax exemption approved by the city. JobsOhio will also add job-training funds.

Kraft could have chosen to consolidate its bacon production in either Coshocton or Kirksville, Missouri. Ohio’s business-friendly environment appeared more appealing and now 300 new jobs will be coming to Ohio. Businesses respond to incentives and the incentives were clearly better in Ohio for Kraft’s Bacon production. The current business climate in Ohio proves that companies do not want and will not expand or bring jobs to states that would put a tax burden on the company.

There will always be work to do, but the expansion of the Kraft plant and bacon production in Coshocton is one more step in the right direction for the State of Ohio and Coshocton city and county. Thanks to the work of JobsOhio, the business-friendly policies of the State of Ohio and the manufacturing background in Coshocton, the residents of a city and county that have seen more job loss than many Ohio counties will be rewarded with 300 new, decent paying jobs. States across the country should take note of Ohio. Creating a business climate that companies want to be a part of will attract businesses and create jobs.