Representatives from Coca-Cola joined state and local officials today to break ground on the company’s new home in Joplin, Mo. The ceremony took place at the site of Coke’s future distribution center in the Crossroads Industrial Park.
“We have been proud to call Joplin home for more than 100 years,” said Kevin Shea, vice president of market unit field operations, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Our deep heritage in this city is something we want to preserve. This new distribution center is a commitment to the communities we serve, and an investment in the future of Coca-Cola in Joplin.”
The new 56,000 square foot distribution center is expected to be complete in early 2013. It will serve as the hub of Coke’s operations across parts of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. The facility is being built by Crossland Construction Company based near Joplin in Columbus, Kan.
Coca-Cola had intended to open a new Joplin distribution center in 2011. However, following the tragic events of the May 22 tornado, Coke chose to delay their plans and in turn offered their facility to the Joplin School District as a temporary home for East Middle School.
Attendees at today’s ceremony were treated to an ice-cold Coca-Cola, and heard remarks from Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean, local state representatives and State Sen. Ron Richard among others. The event featured a keynote address fromMissouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
“Coca-Cola has been a vital part of Joplin for over 100 years, serving this region as a longtime employer, as a steadfast corporate citizen, and as a key supporter of many of the activities and resources that add to the rich quality of life for the people of this area,” Gov. Nixon said. “Today, a new chapter begins for Coca-Cola and Joplin, a chapter that renews and strengthens the ties and commitment of company to community.”
Coca-Cola plans to bring approximately 50 jobs to the distribution center next year, bringing the company’s total workforce in Joplin to more than 100 people.
"We are very pleased that Coca-Cola is constructing this new facility that will add several new jobs to the local economy,” saidShelly Kraft, chairwoman of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.”
As part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to a sustainable future, the facility will feature one of Joplin’s first industrial rain gardens. This rain garden can be used for storm water harvesting; capturing rain water for use in irrigation.