An expansion by the German-based corporation Henkel will bring another 180 jobs to Geneva.
On Thursday, Henkel announced a nearly $23 million investment in its North American manufacturing facilities. The expansion includes new equipment and other improvements for additional production of Dial liquid hand soap and hand sanitizers in Geneva and also at Henkel’s site in West Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
About $17.3 million of that investment will be for new equipment at the Geneva plant to support production of Dial hand sanitizers and foaming hand wash.
The new lines will make up about half of the total production at the Geneva facility. The company’s facility in Geneva, which was acquired by Henkel in 2018, will be rebranded from Zotos Professional to Henkel to reflect the expansion of its operations beyond professional hair care products to supply products such as antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers.
Some of the new technology will be installed this fall, and the rest will be up and running by next June.
Doug Parkinson, vice president of operations at the Geneva plant, said they now employ about 600 people, and the 180 jobs would be added to that workforce, with a variety of production and supervisory positions.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for the hand soap and sanitizers, Parkinson expects the additional product lines to do well, even after the pandemic eases.
“There’s no change in the underlying business, it’s really a ramp-up into this, what we see as a long term strategy. We don’t see this market going away, we actually see further investment and why not have it in Geneva, New York?"
Geneva City Manager Sage Gerling said the additional jobs will give a big economic boost to the region.
“We’re thrilled, we’re a city that’s working hard to be a triple bottom line organization, that we take a look at our financial, environmental and social equity here in the city and Henkel really just knocked it out of the park on all three fronts,” Gerling said.
Geneva’s Mayor, Steve Valentino, was also thrilled by Henkel’s news this week and its ongoing economic impact on the community. Valentino also noted that he had worked for the company (which previously went by the brand name Zotos International), for about 19 years.