Kellogg’s plans expansion

Kellogg Co. is eyeing an expansion project at its Muncy plant that includes the addition of a robotic packing line to serve its club store customers.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Wednesday that the project is part of a $15 million company investment by Kellogg’s to retain 323 manufacturing jobs in Lycoming County.

To help launch the investment, the company is considering a $140,000 Department of Community and Economic Development funding proposal for training needed by employees to operate the robotic production line, according to the governor’s office.

“We are appreciative of the investment by the commonwealth into the expansion of the Kellogg’s Muncy plant. Our community is fortunate to have Kellogg’s reinvesting in the operations at this facility,” said Jason Fink, executive vice president of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce. “The employees at this plant have shown the solid work ethic embodied here in Lycoming County.”

DCED provides dollars from the training grants to qualified companies through its Pennsylvania First fund.

The goal is to strengthen the business environment of state by helping improve skills and productivity of workers statewide.

In a news release provided to the Sun-Gazette, the governor’s office credits Corbett’s JOBS 1st PA Initiative for helping bring about the Kellogg’s project.

It is noted that the governor’s action team, a group of economic development professionals who work with businesses considering to locate or expand in the state, collaborated on the project with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

“We are partnering with companies like Kellogg to grow Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector and support family-sustaining jobs,” Corbett said.

No one from the governor’s office or Kellogg’s was immediately available Wednesday for further comment.

Kellogg’s is a cereal company and producer of cookies, crackers, snacks and frozen foods.

The company reportedly is in the midst of attempting to generate as much as $475 million in annual savings through its Project K initiative, which involves increasing efficiency through consolidation of facilities and eliminating excess capacity.

More than 150 employees will lose jobs this November at its bakery plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, as Kellogg moves to shut down its operation there.