Coca-Cola is raising a toast to Joplin. Coca-Cola representatives joined Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and state and local officials today to celebrate the Company’s new home in Joplin, Mo. The ceremony took place at the site of Coke’s 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 was completed in early 2013. It now serves as the hub of the Company’s operations across parts of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. The facility was 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, in the aftermath of the May 22 tornado, the Company chose to delay their plans. The existing facility was offered to the Joplin School District as a temporary home for East Middle School.
Attendees at today’s ceremony were treated to plenty of ice-cold Coca-Cola, while listening to remarks from Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean and State Rep. Charlie Davis. The event featured a keynote address from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
"Coca-Cola has been a vital part of Joplin for over 100 years, serving this region as a longtime employer and a steadfast corporate citizen," Gov. Nixon said. "Today, a new chapter begins for Coca-Cola and Joplin, a chapter that strengthens the ties of company to community and demonstrates that Missouri's economic recovery continues to gain steam." Coca-Cola added approximately 50 jobs to the distribution center earlier this year, bringing the company’s total workforce in Joplin to more than 100 people.
"This new facility is a win for everyone. It brings new jobs to our local economy and strengthens Coca-Cola’s presence in Joplin,” said Rob O’Brian, Chairman 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 by capturing rain water for use in irrigation.