Unified Brands shipping out their first units from Ceres site today

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Unified Brands is up and running and scheduled to send out their first units Thursday from their new facility at the Ceres Industrial Park.

Chuck Stewart, the Director of Continuing Improvement at Unified Brands, made the announcement as the guest speaker of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

Unified Brands, a division of Dover Corporation, is a commercial food equipment manufacturer that relocated in the industrial park in August in the former Simpson Duravent building on Armory Road.

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Stewart, who has been with Unified Brands for 20 years, said there are currently 18 new employees at the Ceres facility with 325 expected to be hired by the end of 2019. More than 400 jobs are expected to be created when the facility is in full operation.

He said the response from the community has been incredible and overwhelming with more 350 people attending a September job fair. He credited much of the success for the large turnout to Hinds Community College and their partnership in workforce development, suggesting other businesses both large and small should consider HCC in developing employees.

Stewart also said the process of selecting their site at the industrial park in August was not an easy one.

“This was the 47th building we looked at in four states,” Stewart said.

A community partner

Asked if the new Continental Tire facility currently under construction will impact hiring at Unified Brands, Stewart said he believes there are a number of people looking for jobs in the area and doesn’t foresee an issue.

He was also asked what type of employees is Unified Brands looking to hire.

“Someone who is willing to learn and shows up everyday,” Stewart said. “You can be the greatest welder in the western world, but you need to learn that we may do things differently.”

Stewart also said Unified Brands is looking to be a community partner in the area.

“We want to be a partner that works with other businesses in Vicksburg and Warren County,” Stewart said.

Stewart said the Unified Brands facility at Ceres, which is consolidating three other plants within the company, will have nine assembly lines when in full operation. He also said the facility will have a training and demonstration area that could potentially bring in a thousand people a year into Warren County.