General Mills is a leading global food company that is dedicated to “making food people love.” Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the food manufacturer is one of southeastern Ohio’s largest employers.
The Wellston, Ohio facility specializes in making pizza snacks for its Totino’s brand, and with close to 900 full-time employees, is one of the largest frozen food manufacturing facilities in the country. Since 1866 when Cadwallader Washburn built his first mill, the company has developed brands such as Wheaties, Bisquick, Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Yoplait, Hamburger Helper, Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, and many others.
General Mills Leads the Food & Agribusiness Industry in Ohio
Food & agribusiness is the largest industry in Ohio, boasting hundreds of companies including General Mills, that cultivate, process, package, distribute, and market food and drinks enjoyed by consumers around the world. This industry adds $124 billion to the state’s annual economic output.
Food & agribusiness facts:
Ohio’s farmlands produce soybeans, corn, dairy, wheat, eggs, and hogs. Companies can access a complete ground-to-consumer value chain and connect with the state’s food manufacturers, packagers, distributors, retailers, and customers.
The Ohio State University Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center, the Center for Innovative Food Technology, and Cincinnati’s flavoring research hub provide resources and support to Ohio food and agribusiness companies.
Low-cost natural gas, a deregulated power market, and open partnerships with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture make doing business more affordable in Ohio.
General Mills Expands in Ohio
When General Mills sought to expand their food manufacturing capabilities in Ohio, the company worked with JobsOhio and OhioSE on economic grants and resources toward building, machinery, equipment, and infrastructure costs.
General Mills recently expanded its Wellston plant (the sole source of pizza rolls and Totino’s pizzas) to meet increased consumer demand for hot snacks. The capital investment of $100 million provided new technology allowing for increased production, improving plant efficiencies, minimizing safety risks, and preserving M&E long-term. Expansion included modifications for longer run times, extruder expansion, and replacement of existing fryers. In 2023, General Mills plans to hire for 30 new positions and retain its current 974 positions at the Wellston facility.
“General Mills has been a cornerstone of this community for more than 35 years and our employees exude a lot of pride in making food the world loves,” said Stephanie Weaver, plant manager at General Mills’ Wellston facility. “We’re excited to grow our business and employee base in southeastern Ohio and having strong local, regional and state partners has been instrumental in our success.”
General Mills also recently invested $28 million to renovate and modernize the equipment at the existing cereal production facility in Sharonville, Ohio, to support the production of an additional cereal line moving from out-of-state manufacturing. This expansion included building renovations, new equipment, training programs, and talent development. Many of General Mills’ cereals are manufactured in the Sharonville facility, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Chex, Fiber One, Cookie Crisp, and Cheerios Oat Crunch.
How Has JobsOhio Supported General Mills’ Growth in Ohio?
JobsOhio supported General Mills’ growth in Wellston and Sharonville by working together on a JobsOhio Grant (JOG).
JobsOhio offers many programs and services designed to assist companies that are locating or expanding operations in the state, enabling economic prosperity for all.
Explore JobsOhio incentives like the Economic Development Grant, JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan, JobsOhio R&D Center Grant, and the JobsOhio Workforce Grant. We work in partnership with companies and communities to create personalized incentive packages to meet individual business needs.
Career Opportunities in Ohio
In Ohio, organizations have access to an abundant and industrious talent pool, from tech-savvy coders to computer numerically controlled (CNC) operators, from engineers and scientists to those in professional services and healthcare. This workforce is educated, committed, skilled, and productive. Ohio continues to rank highly in the competitive labor market.
Ohio recognizes the importance of continued investment to drive economic prosperity, stimulate funding, and create high-quality jobs. People from across the nation are finding the career they want and the lifestyle they deserve in Ohio.
JobsOhio supports local Ohioans with job opportunities and the business by connecting with local talent in Ohio. To explore career opportunities with General Mills and other major businesses in Ohio, visit Find Your Ohio.