In 1932, a man by the name of C.E. Doolin tasted a snack chip. He later bought the chip's recipe and began selling Fritos corn chips. Almost three decades later, Fritos merged with H.W. Lay and Company, making what is known today as Frito-Lay Inc.
"Frito-Lay makes and sells America's favorite snacks including Lay's potato chips, Fritos corn chips, Doritos tortilla chips and more. The Frito-Lay Williamsport facility makes Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, Funyuns onion-flavored rings and Tostitos tortilla chips," said Toby Johnson, manufacturing manager for Frito-Lay in Williamsport.
The plant in Williamsport employs almost 200 individuals who are drawn there for the competitive wages and benefit packages but find themselves drawn to the company for its inviting atmosphere.
Posing with Frito-Lay products are employees, back row from left, Matt Bailey, Ed DeBrody, Laura Campbell, Keith Godfrey, Robert Bachman and Kevin Stroble, and bottom row from left, Kim Black, Carrie Miller, Adam Chapman, Toby Johnson and Rob Andrews.
"Once a part of the company, they see that each individual is a valued member of our team. We encourage diversity of thought and experiences to help make the company and its processes better. Coming to work for Frito Lay Williamsport is like being part of a family. About 42 percent of the team members in Williamsport have worked for Frito Lay for 20 plus years," Johnson said.
Frito-Lay offers its employees tuition reimbursement, on the job training and professional development.
"Frito Lay Williamsport places a high value on each and every employee who works in the facility. The company believes the most valuable assets are its associates. Williamsport consistently strives to live out the site vision of people first, product always," Johnson said.
The company is focused on the future and believes that the future rests upon the valued employees.
"In order to talk about the future of our company, we have to look at our past. The success of Frito-Lay Williamsport is directly attributable to our employees. We have a proud 38 year history that is built upon the dedication, commitment and professionalism of our front line," Johnson said.
The Williamsport factory received a STAR designation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as other honors.
"Frito-Lay Williamsport has also won the company's Site Award of Excellence in 2006 as well as the C.E. Doolin Operations Award of Excellence in 2008. These awards are for the most outstanding site and region in Frito Lay, respectively," Johnson said.
The company was drawn to the area because of the advantages of nearby resources and the family atmosphere.
"From a company perspective, Williamsport offers a wealth of transportation options that allow us to receive the raw goods needed to make our products and ship our freshly made snacks throughout the region. From a personal perspective, Williamsport is a great family town that provides access to major metropolitan areas along with the many benefits of small-town living," Johnson said.
According to Johnson, the company is marketed in the community through service to neighbors and membership in the Williamsport Chamber of Commerce.
Other ways the products are generated through the area are through the various community wide events in the area.
"Frito-Lay Williamsport has been a long supporter of the local Mummers Day Parade, won the Marshall's trophy in 2005 and 2007. (Frito-Lay) will support the Little League World Series by participating in the parade in 2009," Johnson said.
The company also gives back to the community on with many local fundraising events.
"Some examples (of community involvement) include the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Lycoming-Clinton County Youth Services Angel Tree, 9/11 Memorial Ride, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Adopt-a-Platoon, Adopt-a-Highway and new this year the Miny Indy 500 that supports American Red Cross," Johnson said.
According to Johnson, even though the company is not experiencing any expansion at this time, they are hiring.
For more information on the company or employment opportunities, individuals may log into the Web site at www.fritolay.com.