DUNKIRK – A Chautauqua County manufacturing company that’s celebrating its second year of business in Dunkirk is looking for workers amid a massive renovation.
Over the past two years, Mike Wells, President and CEO of Wells Enterprises, says efforts to modernize the former Fieldbrook Foods Factory in Dunkirk are continuing course even amid a worldwide pandemic.
Wells, in an interview with WNY News Now, explained his family businesses’ push to not only further production of their ice cream products on the east coast, but also, make the factory better for its workers.
“We’ve replaced a lot of equipment, everything from basic piping throughout the plant to freezer facilities and new parts areas, employee welfare space,” explained Wells. “We even have some temporary space outside now as we rebuild a lot of the space as we change the flow of the plan to make it easier to get from point A to point B.”
Even amid shortages in materials and labor during the pandemic, Wells says his business is about halfway through construction as it celebrates two years of business in Dunkirk.
During a visit to the plant on Monday, the President and CEO spoke to many workers who carried over from previous ownership two years ago.
“They went on and on about the improvements, about how the morale is different, and how they continue to really get excited about career opportunities, not just a job,” furthered Wells. “As the second largest ice cream manufacturer in the United States they can see now there is a real career path for them.”
Wells says in his business’s hiring push locally, many times current employees are referring their friends and neighbors to the company, something the businessman takes pride in.
“We’ve got everything from hourly line workers, to supervisory positions, maintenance positions,” said Wells. “The great thing about having a growing successful business is you are always looking for good people.”
He says hiring during the pandemic has been impacted, however is hopeful for the future.
“Our national leaders and state leaders are starting to change some of the things with unemployment to encourage people to get back to the workforce, because there are plenty of opportunities,” said Wells. “We think we have some of the best opportunities right here at Wells, for really what I call meaningful employment.”
The company has invested tens of millions of dollars so far in the Dunkirk renovation process.
As Wells Enterprises continues to expand their footprint locally, the group will be looking to give back to the community. Wells says in the future he hopes to host family-oriented events fostering a good ‘work life balance’ in the community.
Those looking to apply are encouraged to visit wellscareers.com.