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Va. Pasta Maker Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 9:34am
REBECCA LAYNE,The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — A local pasta manufacturing plant is celebrating its 20th year in Winchester.

Every day, the New World Pasta facility, located at 300 Park Center Drive in Frederick County, produces more than 625,000 pounds of spaghetti, macaroni, ziti and lasagna. Annually, the volume reaches 200 million pounds.

"A lot of people don't know we're here," said Tim Gyovai, production and quality manager. "We're found on big and small grocery store shelves everywhere. It's great, cheap family food."

In 2011, the U.S.'s dry pasta industry revenue was reported at $2.4 billion, with an estimated gross profit of 33.1 percent.

The Winchester plant, which began operations in 1993, has about 125 employees at its 186,000-square-foot facility. There was an open house this month during which the workers and their families celebrated the 20th anniversary.

The plant produces such brands as Ronzoni (its most popular), Light 'n Fluffy and San Giorgio.

Each packaging and processing line comes equipped with a computer that calculates employee performance data (such as cases packaged per hour and efficiency rate).

Hourly workers participate in an incentive program based on this performance data.

"It's a highly automated and very efficient pasta factory," said Jeff Schryver, plant manager. "Employees know what their goals are and work very, very hard to obtain these goals."

Once the pasta is produced, it's packaged and transported to distribution centers in Pennsylvania and Florida via 20 or more trucks a day.

New World Pasta also has plants in Montreal, St. Louis and Fresno, Calif., and is the main pasta supplier on the East Coast. Its headquarters is in Harrisburg, Pa.

According to officials, the plant's success in Winchester is attributed to a good employee workforce, the support of the Economic Development Commission and its location near Interstate 81.

"We're just fortunate to be in a great area with a great workforce and great community," Schryver said.

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