EATON — Preble County recently received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant award through the Economic Development Loan and Public Infrastructure Program to help local manufacturer Henny Penny purchase a new laser and two pieces of associated equipment.
Henny Penny Corp. is a manufacturer of commercial food equipment for fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s and KFC. Located in Eaton, the company employs more than 500 people at its facility. It sources approximately 50 percent of its materials from Ohio companies, and exports nearly 50 percent of its products outside the United States.
The company will create 21 new jobs as a result of the project.
“Working with local officials, we are helping create jobs in Preble County,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
“The Preble County Development Partnership and the county worked closely with the state to make sure we had everything in place that was required from Henny Penny and our offices to gain approval on this initiative,” Economic Development Director Brenda Latanza said.
“The Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Program is federal funding that provides up to $500,000 per project. We were fortunate to get the maximum amount for Henny Penny,” Latanza said. “Funds are granted to communities to make loans to local, for-profit businesses for fixed-asset financing – such as the equipment for Henny Penny. Loan repayments come to the county into a local Revolving Loan Fund and may be used to finance additional Community Development Block Grant-eligible projects in the community. This is a great resource for Preble County and the Partnership.”
“Henny Penny Corporation is fortunate to continue to experience a steady growth in sales, and as a result, we continue to invest in our business and provide more employment opportunities,” said Art Harlan, Henny Penny’s Executive Vice President, and the company’s representative on the Preble County Development Partnership board of trustees. “We are grateful to the Preble County Development Partnership, the Preble County Commissioners and the State of Ohio for this grant in support of our manufacturing equipment project.”
“Henny Penny Corporation, has purchased the latest in Punch/Fiber Laser technology,” said Jeff Maggard, Henny Penny Manufacturing Manager. “The equipment is engineered for high-speed productivity. In addition to ensuring maximum speed, the highly efficient fiber laser uses approximately a third of the electricity of our current systems. Investing in this high speed processing center will provide Henny Penny a foundation to build upon for many years to come.”
The Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Loan and Public Infrastructure Grant Program is administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Office of Community Development.
Jeff Maggard – Henny Penny Manufacturing Manager
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.