Weis distribution center, stores seek workers
MILTON — About 1,000 employees work at the Weis distribution plant at the Milton Industrial Park, but the grocery giant, like many employers today, is facing a shortage of workers.
Weis Chief Operating Officer Kurt Schertle told U.S. Rep. Fred Keller on Monday that the distribution center is about 50 employees short of where they want it, while the chain’s stores are between 1,000 and 2,000 workers short.
“Quality folks who want to work hard and have a good career, that’s our biggest opportunity right now,” Schertle said. “With young people going back to school, losing college and high school help, a lot of adults aren’t necessarily in the job market for a number of reasons.”
Keller, a Republican from the 12th District, was impressed with a tour of the plant Monday, going around the facility with Schertle and president and CEO Jonathan Weis.
“I know this from growing up in Sunbury, Weis Markets is a great community partner,” Keller said. “Just outstanding people, from Jonathan to the associates we see in stores. We are here to learn more about what they do and to understand what we should be thinking about to support them and their team members in the policies we put forward.
“We need to look at the policies that would get people back to work as we recover from the pandemic in the short term, the long term is making sure that our students understand the opportunities that companies like Weis Markets give to the people in our community,” Keller continued.
Part of the tour took Keller to one of the plant’s newest additions, a new banana room Schertle said was opened 16 months ago.
David Kramer, a lead banana ripener for Weis, said employees talked to Keller about the center’s process for getting the fruit into the center before distributing it to stories and eventually into homes.
“We talked about the different stages and what we do to get them from a green banana to a stage 3 banana so the customer will have a banana that will have a shelf life at home,” he said.