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published on July 26, 2016 - 7:44 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Initiative Foods is hosting a job fair tomorrow at 8 a.m. for 70 to 80 of its employees out of work due to a plant fire in Sanger this weekend.

John Ypma, president of organic baby food manufacturer Initiative Foods, said it could be another 12 to 18 months before the company is able to complete a rebuild of its production facilities.

In the meantime, workers including machine operators, forklift drivers and general laborers, are looking for new jobs.

“Our employees are trained for food safety, food quality, employee safety,” Ypma said. “Most of these people have been working for us for 10-plus years. They are really good people.”

Ypma is issuing a call to employers who may be interested in hiring some of the displaced Initiative Foods workforce. He said employers already participating include Lyons Magnus, Brownie Baker, Pacific Choice, National Raisin and more.

The job fair will be held at 1913 Industrial Way in Sanger. Interested employers can contact Merisha Torrano at 209-678-2908, or just show up, even though there may not be enough tables and chairs for everyone.

“No reservations required,” Ypma said. “Even though you may be talking to someone over a pallet.”

Ypma said investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire on Sunday.

A gofundme.com account has been created to benefit employees affected by the fire. In one day the page has raised nearly $11,000 of the $200,000 goal.


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