TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Chobani yogurt factory has been open in Twin Falls since 2012, and when it opened in the Magic Valley, it added jobs.
Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya speaks about the new community innovation center that features a state-of-the-art gym, cafeteria, and over beautiful views of the Sawtooth Mountains (KMVT/Elizabeth Hadley).
Unemployment dropped from 6.3% to 2.4% when the factory opened.
Monday, they had a ribbon cutting for its a new community innovation center. The new building is 71,000 square feet, and the windows equate to 30,000 square feet of glass.
The building includes a new state-of-the-art gym, cafeteria and a research and development center.
“Seventeen-thousand-square-foot of innovation space, because we want this to be the innovation center, for Chobani, and we want actually, the Magic Valley to be an inspiration for innovation in food,” said Peter McGuinnes, the chief marketing and commercial officer.
Chobani has been adding jobs to the Magic Valley since 2012. They recognize though, that all work and no play, does not make for a healthy work environment.
“The more human you are as a company, the more productive and happy and healthy your employees are, and the better you compete in the market place,” McGuinness said.
With this new space for people to work, they are hoping to invent new products.
“We probably will be even more creative, and having more people here. You can work on more stuff and more things will come out of here,” said Kai Sacher, the head of the research and development department.
Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said this never would have happened without the support of the Twin Falls mayor and the Idaho governor.
“How special this city is, and how special the people in this city are, without your support, and your team's support, and your people’s patience, this would have never been possible,” Ulukaya said.
Mayor Shawn Baringer said that he has loved watching the growth that Chobani has brought to the city, and he can’t wait to see the next step that the new center will bring as well.