WinCo Foods Distribution Center slated to open Feb. 14

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Tomas Gonzalez
Construction is done Jan. 14 at the WinCo Foods Distribution Center, which is set to open Tuesday, a spokesperson for the company said.

More than 100 people will be stocking shelves, preparing produce and organizing orders at the WinCo Foods Distribution Center on Tuesday, the first day it will be officially up and running.

While employees are training in the facility already, their first day to fulfill orders is next week. The first trucks will be loaded and taken to WinCo grocery stores throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area Wednesday, said Noah Fleisher, a spokesperson for the company.

“It won’t be full force right away because we’ll be working out whatever glitches may arise, so it will be a few trucks in and out,” he said. “We should be fully functional providing to all of the stores in the area fairly quickly.”

Construction of the center began in December 2015, and it is the largest economic development project in the city’s history.

The company invested $135 million to build the 800,000-square-foot distribution center at 300 S. Western Blvd.

WinCo, based in Boise, Idaho, bought the 77 acres in June 2015, the same month the Denton City Council voted to approve incentives for the project — then known only by the code name “Project Ranger One.” The extra space allowed for an additional 60,000-square-foot center for truck repair. It also can add 130,000 square feet to the current distribution center if there’s a future need.

The project is expected to hire 165 people and bring in management from Nebraska, and it almost is fully staffed, Fleisher said.

Some of the employees are working through a program with Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services, which helps pair companies with employees who have physical or mental limitations.

After completing training, the participants will do competency tests at the end of seven weeks to make sure they’re ready for work.

“Were very excited about this program,” Fleisher said. “I think it fits our philosophy of inclusiveness, drawing from the community where we work and live and making sure everyone has an equal chance.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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