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Distribution center to bring 20 jobs to county

August 20, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Covenco, a Middletown, Pa.-based vending and cafeteria company, will open a facility in the Huyett's Business Park later this year to house its Maryland operation

The 12,500-square-foot space at the business park off Md. 63, north of Interstate 70, west of Hagerstown, is scheduled to open in late December or early January. It is being built by McCleary and Associates of Williamsport.

The business will bring 20 jobs to the area. Most of the jobs will be for vending route drivers, said Andy Calhoun, vice president of purchasing for Covenco.

The Washington County Commissioners are scheduled to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the business at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Construction began earlier this month, Calhoun said.

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"Covenco is a top-notch full-line vending and cafeteria company that serves a great many local customers," said John C. Howard, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Covenco serves many of the region's larger employers, including Mack Trucks Inc. and Staples Distribution Center in Washington County, and the IRS facility in Martinsburg, W.Va. It also has contracts with companies in 29 other counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.

In Pennsylvania, the company has offices in Frackville, Allentown and Lewistown.

The company commissary in Middletown produces 25,000 food items daily for delivery to the companies it serves, Calhoun said.

Covenco chose to open its first Maryland facility in Washington County because it has a centralized location that will enable the company to tap into growth in the region, Calhoun said.

The county EDC has been working with Covenco since late 1998 to find the best site in the county, said EDC Marketing Director Tom Riford.

"We are so pleased that the facility is under construction, and that more jobs are coming to the community. This is a good company, with over $35 million per year in sales. We are also very proud that Hagerstown was the first out-of-state location that this company chose to expand to," Riford said.

The company's facility will be a distribution center where some food preparation work, assembly and repairs will be done, he said.

Riford did not know what the company will pay, but said he believes wages would be competitive.

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