Stanislaus job openings will follow commercial construction projects

The 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center under construction Thursday for Restoration Hardware off Rogers Road in Patterson.
The 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center under construction Thursday for Restoration Hardware off Rogers Road in Patterson. jsbranti@modbee.com

Several multimillion-dollar commercial construction projects are underway in Stanislaus County, and they’re expected to create hundreds of new jobs next year.

Some of those expanding companies are about to launch recruitment drives for new employees, and others have begun quietly posting staff openings online.

Both longtime local employers and newcomers are building new facilities in the county.

That includes construction of the massive Restoration Hardware distribution center in Patterson, the Hilmar Cheese milk powder processing plant in Turlock, a Mid Valley Agricultural Services complex in Oakdale, and Pacific Southwest Container and Gallo Glass Co. expansions in Modesto.

“These are skilled craftsmen jobs,” said Darin Jones, Pacific Southwest Container’s executive vice president for operations, referring to the nine press operators his company soon will hire. New workers are needed to run the $7 million high-speed printing press that’s being installed there, which will greatly expand the company’s production capacity. “As we grow, it’s probably going to create 25 jobs.”

Forty skilled workers are being sought for the Hilmar Cheese Co.’s $100 million dry powder milk processing plant under construction and expected to open next fall.

“This is an exciting time for our growing company and for our community,” said Lisa Smith, Hilmar Cheese’s human resources director. “The additional site will enable us to build on our strong team with additional motivated and goal-driven employees. Most of our positions are full-time with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits.”

Smith said her company will host a job fair in late October in Turlock, but exactly when and where hasn’t been finalized.

Hiring procedures also remain sketchy for the gigantic Restoration Hardware warehouse, which is expected to open by the end of March.

That 1.5 million-square-foot building will be the largest in Stanislaus history, but the Bay Area-based retailer hasn’t revealed how many people will work there.

What’s known for sure is the Rogers Road facility will have 371 parking spaces, and there’s speculation Restoration Hardware will operate multiple shifts.

“There will be a trailer on site where applicants can fill out applications, and we will host job fairs,” Restoration Hardware spokeswoman Emily Reaman said. But she wouldn’t say when that trailer would appear, when those job fairs would be held or how many people will be hired.

The luxury home furnishing company has started posting Patterson job openings for its top management positions on its corporate website, www.rh.com, and several other online job search sites.

Mid Valley Agricultural Services also has started posting job openings online for the new facilities it’s building south of Oakdale. It’s spending about $4 million to construct an office, retail store, shop, warehouse, storage facility and tank farm on the Oakdale-Waterford Highway, which will open early next year.

The Linden-based chemical and fertilizer retailer has operations in Hughson, Escalon and elsewhere in the Valley, but the new nearly 12-acre facility will be much bigger.

Gallo Glass already is big, but it’s expanding, too. It is building a $4.7 million batch plant, mixing tower, gantry and elevators on Oregon Drive southeast of Modesto.

Though Gallo hasn’t announced how many jobs that expansion might create, it posts all its openings on its www.gallo.com website. Its glass plant manufactures all the bottles used for E.&J. Gallo wines, plus other wineries.

Many of those wine bottles end up in case-size boxes produced by Southwest Pacific Container, and business is good for the package maker. The family-owned company is spending about $691,000 to build a 9,739-square-foot pressroom in Modesto for an additional bigger and faster printing machine.

“It will enable us to make a quantum jump in production capacity and print quality,” Jones said. The new Heidelberg press is expected to run 24-hours a day, starting in February.

Jones said the large-format offset press will be able to print about 33,000 case-size wine boxes per hour.

Pacific Southwest Container posts its openings on varying job websites. Jones said the company’s Modesto manufacturing plant employs about 450 people, but it needs to expand production capacity to keep up with demand for more boxes “mostly from our successful existing customers.”

By contrast, Hilmar Cheese is building its new Turlock facility so it can enter the powered milk market, for which there is growing worldwide demand.

Positions at that new plant on West Canal Drive will be opened to the Hilmar company’s current employees first, which may create vacancies at its Merced County plant.

“We will be recruiting for hourly production employees and production supervisors for both our new Turlock site and our Hilmar facility,” Smith said. “We will also recruit part-time service employees for our (Hilmar) visitor center.”

The jobs at the Turlock dry powder plant will be highly automated and technical, according to the company. Employees there will operate computer-related controls. All the company’s openings are posted at www.hilmarcheese.com.