When Vitamix Corp. opens a manufacturing plant here this fall, it will quickly take a spot on Strongsville's list of biggest employers.
In fact, it appears the Olmsted Township-based manufacturer of high-end blenders will jump right to No. 6 on the list, with about 350 workers.
"They'll definitely be one of our top employers by head-count," Economic Development Director Brent Painter said.
The company announced last week at 23221 Morgan Court, which is off Lunn Road between Foltz Parkway and Marks Road.
By year's end, about 250 current workers will have moved to the Strongsville site, leaving about 200 to 250 in Olmsted Township.
The expansion will create about 100 new jobs in Strongsville by the end of 2012, the company said.
"It's going to be a wonderful project, to say the least," Painter said.
He added that real estate agents representing Vitamix and the building approached Strongsville, and the city followed the anti-poaching agreement it signed earlier this year.
Based on figures Painter compiled last year, it looks like Vitamix will rank about sixth in terms of employees:
1. Strongsville City Schools -- 800-plus
2. Medical Mutual -- 600
3. . (Corporate headquarters, art and crafts supplies) -- 460
4. PNC Bank (Banking technology center) -- 460
5. (Corporate headquarters, paint products) -- 450
6. (Outpatient medical facility) -- 335
7. City of Strongsville -- 297
8. Altenheim (Retirement, health care facility) -- 260
9. Avery Dennison Corp. (Pressure sensitive adhesive products) -- 225
10. (Producer of advanced ceramic powders) -- 215
11. Archway (Packing and distribution services) -- 200.
Why are Blenders So Big?
The new space will give the company, which sells its products in the United States and more than 80 other countries, more space for manufacturing and assembly, plus more room for storage.
“We knew we would need to expand production and warehouse space eventually, but our business is growing faster than even we anticipated, requiring us to expand now,” Vitamix President and CEO Jodi L. Berg said in a news release.
Over the past three years, Vitamix has doubled in sales, increased international exports by 80 percent, and increased its workforce by 45 percent.
Berg attributes the company’s growth partly to people's focus on better nutrition.
“The understanding of the importance of a whole foods, healthy lifestyle continues to grow. People want to eat healthy, but they do not want to compromise on taste and enjoyment. The Vitamix makes this possible and makes enjoying a healthy cuisine sustainable,” Berg said.
The company has leased the space in Strongsville for five years.
The 91-year-old family-run company employs more than 500 people and is currently building a $10 million expansion to its headquarters on Usher Road.
The company accepts applications through its website.
Vita-Mix does all its own design and manufacturing work at its local facility. Its high-performance blenders sell for about $450.