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Family Dollar distribution center emerges

February 23rd, 2012

News Coverage:

Published: February 23, 2012 3:00 a.m.

Ashley abuzz as warehouse hub emerges

Paul Wyche| The Journal Gazette

Work on a $70 million Family Dollar Stores Inc. distribution center in Ashley continues to generate optimism in northeast Indiana.

In January 2011, when the Matthews, N.C., company announced plans to set up operations in Ashley and add 350 jobs, the investment drew raves from local and state leaders.

Nothing has changed.

“There’s been a steady buzz over there, and they’ve been hiring people,” said Ken McCrory, executive director of DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership Inc. “They’ve been using the community center (in Ashley) for interviewing. I don’t know how many they’ve hired, but they are hiring.”

Salaries start at $12 an hour, but about 50 jobs will be technical positions that pay much more.

Family Dollar spokesman Josh Braverman would not say how many have been hired, but the company expects many of the positions to be filled in coming weeks.

The distribution center, which received about $3.8 million in incentives, is nearly complete.

“We’re looking at opening late spring to early summer,” Braverman said. “There are shift supervisors, floor crews and other positions that will be filled.”

Ashley straddles the line between DeKalb and Steuben counties and has about 1,000 residents, but job-seekers from as far as Indianapolis have filled out applications, Braverman said. Unemployment in the two counties is higher than December’s state average of 8.7 percent. DeKalb had a 9.3 percent joblessness rate, while Steuben was 9.7 percent.

“Folks are looking for work, and they’re really coming out,” Braverman said. “We’re excited about that.”

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