TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

TruFood in O'Hara to expand, add 100 jobs

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By John D. Oravecz
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 1:06 p.m.
 

TruFood Manufacturing Inc., a maker of private-label chocolate, nutrition and food replacement bars, will update its plant in O'Hara and expand into a second plant, adding at least 100 jobs.

Driven by the growing market for nutrition bars, TruFood will more than double its floor space in the Regional Industrial Development Corp. business park, investing more than $12.5 million. Its 215 employees do contract manufacturing for brand-name companies.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our company, employees and community,” CEO Pete Tsudis said in a written statement thanking state officials for financial support. The Department of Community and Economic Development said the company received an offer of a $200,000 grant, $120,000 in job creation tax credits and a $27,000 grant to train employees. In addition, it will use a $3.25 million, seven-year, low-interest loan to buy equipment.

“What we are seeing is that people want portable, healthy snacks, and we are expanding to meet those consumer trends and needs,” Tsudis said.

The expanded plant will produce a baked nutrition bar containing assorted healthy grains, he said.

“The consumer trends are toward healthy consumption, and that is where the market growth is,” he said.

The plant expansion will begin after Nov. 1, and production could start in January. TruFood has begun hiring for jobs expected within three to six months, he said.

The jobs will pay above minimum wage and include production, supervisory and engineering positions.

TruFood, formerly Tsudis Chocolate Co., is a family-owned manufacturer that began producing products in O'Hara in 1985. Tsudis is adding products such as meal replacement bars and changed the company's name to reflect that, he said in July.

Last month, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for 19 alleged violations and levied $87,260 in penalties. OSHA accused TruFood of failing to guard points of operation on machinery, to provide electrical protective equipment and to ensure that containers are marked as hazardous chemicals. OSHA opened its investigation in February when an employee injured his hand and wrist when a machine inadvertently activated as he set it up.

In a statement, Tsudis said the company “always has and always will take the safety and well-being of its employees very seriously.”

John D. Oravecz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Coal miner Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy
  2. Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
  3. Muni bond funds stressed
  4. Hillary Clinton calls out GOP on trade embargo on Cuba
  5. Extended oil slump takes toll
  6. When it comes to home ownership, Hispanics finding locked doors
  7. Off-duty but on call: Suits seek overtime
  8. FirstEnergy to build coal waste processing facility in Beaver County
  9. Small business hangs on fate of Export-Import Bank
  10. Bond funds hold onto cash
  11. Companies hand out perks, benefits instead of pay raises