ERLANGER, Ky. – A Chicago-based agricultural company – and relative newcomer to the Northern Kentucky landscape – is ramping up hiring efforts this week after opening a more than $8 million IT center in Erlanger in September.
Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, plans to add 200 employees over the next few years at its new locale on the WILD Flavors campus off Interstate 275. A series of events to kick off those efforts starts on Thursday.
ADM announced plans last year for the IT and support center, touting dozens of new, high paying jobs in the process. The facility opened on schedule last month. Marty Schoenthaler, chief information officer at ADM, said the company is expanding its global IT capabilities and infrastructure, and as a result, is looking to add developers, project managers, business analysts and more. Around 80 positions are expected to be filled this year. Pay, he said, averages roughly $100,000 annually.
"We're already off to a really good start," Schoenthaler told WCPO. "We've brought on 27 folks so far, and the jobs we're offering are very strong ones.
"We've been investing a lot in emerging and innovative technologies, and we need people who have those kinds of skill sets," he added. "The agriculture industry hasn't been as progressive when it comes to technology (as compared to) banking or finance. But there's an opportunity, and we're seeing the industry accelerate the pace. For us to continue to grow, it really is important. We have a chance to make a difference through technology."
ADM narrowed in on Erlanger about two years ago, Schoenthaler said – it was a top three site when the company conducted a search in the greater Midwest. That analysis was done even before ADM acquired natural ingredient producer WILD Flavors for $3 billion cash back in July 2014.
Since, ADM finalized its selection in December and pledged an $8.3 million investment in Northern Kentucky, including building improvements and equipment for a 200,000-square-foot vacant building on the WILD campus. Co-locating helps ADM consolidate costs, using space it already owns, among other benefits. The company was also approved for tax incentives of up to $5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority also approved ADM for tax benefits of up to $200,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.
"I've said this before: This is a match made in heaven," Schoenthaler said. "With other companies (here) like P&G, GE and Kroger, we know there's IT resources available. We think there are plenty of IT professionals in the region, plus we're very, very pleased with the university structure and all the different universities within about a three-hour radius. That was a big part. We think that's going to give us access to a deeper pool of resources. And Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati is a vibrant area. It's exciting."
In Erlanger, ADM is looking to hire developers, business analysts, project managers, integration architects and those with more specific skill sets. The company also needs "good athletes," Schoenthaler said, his name for employees with general technology experience who can be trained.
"We said we would end up with the 200 new positions in three or four years, and we're on track," Schoenthaler said. "We want people to recognize the Archer Daniels Midland name so we can get moving a little faster on some of our initiatives."
This week's events mark the company's first widespread efforts to do just that.
On Thursday, a networking and information session is scheduled for 5-7:30 p.m. The event will be more casual, Schoenthaler said, and includes a presentation at 6 p.m. Open interviews will follow from noon-7 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
The ADM office is located at 1260 Pacific Ave., Erlanger. Complete job listings are available at adm.com/careers or adm.com/erlangerITjobs.
"We're excited about being a big part of the community," Schoenthaler said.