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FINDLAY, Ohio, February 24, 2016 – Hundreds of jobs, averaging $57,000 in wages per year, will be coming to Findlay this fall as McLane Co. finishes construction of a $119 million grocery distribution center.

The 337,831-square-foot center is south of Hancock County 212 and across from Lowe’s Distribution Center.

The highly-automated operation will ramp up to 425 employees by December 2017, including engineers and technical workers. It also will employ product selectors, truck loaders, forklift operators, inventory receivers, automation maintenance and monitoring, truck drivers, administration and truck maintenance.

The distribution center will use state-of-the art grocery distribution technology, including an automated storage retrieval system, goods-to-person piece picking and voice picking.

The warehouse management system will control all aspects of inventory and movement of goods throughout the distribution center from receipt to shipment confirmation.

It will provide groceries, food services and beverages to convenience stores and drugstores, chain restaurants and other merchants in Ohio, Michigan, northern Indiana, and western Pennsylvania.

“We could have gone a lot of different places,” said Mike Youngblood, McLane’s chief operating officer.

Those other places were in Ohio and in other states. But Findlay offered the best in terms of workforce, roads, water, sewers and other utilities and “town atmosphere,” he said.

He also praised the business support offered by Gov. John Kasich and other officials.

McLane is getting $4.5 million in tax breaks and other aid from the state. It also will receive about $3 million in property tax savings over eight years from Findlay’s Community Reinvestment Area.

McLane also will avoid more than $750,000 in sales taxes by temporarily ceding ownership of the construction site to Blanchard Valley Port Authority.

The state help includes a $3.6 million job creation tax credit and a $250,000 job training grant, and for Findlay, a $637,345 grant for a street access to the distribution center. The street will extend south from Hancock County 212, directly opposite the driveway for Lowe’s Distribution Center.

McLane will cover the remaining $112,655 of street construction expense, said Tim Mayle, assistant economic development director for the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance.

The company also will pay for extension of water and sewer service to the new Tall Timbers West Industrial Park with its tax savings.

McLane’s tab for those public improvements, along with its contribution for the new street, will total $500,000. Those improvements will benefit other future tenants of the industrial park, which is located south of Hancock County 212, west of Hancock County 18 and north of Bigelow Avenue. McLane will occupy 88 acres. An additional 225 acres remain for industrial park development.

McLane donated $100,000 to enhance workforce development programs at Millstream Career Center.

Youngblood praised Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik, the Blanchard Valley Port Authority and other officials for their help.

McLane is headquartered in Temple, Texas. It has 21 other distribution centers, each in a different state. It supplies over 45,000 retail grocery locations.