HAMMOND, Ind. — UniFirst Corp., which offers the supply and servicing of uniforms, workwear and facility service products, hosted a ribbon-cutting July 21 to celebrate the grand opening of its 64,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art industrial laundry plant here.
“Our new Hammond facility is at the forefront of the latest advances in uniform and textile service technologies and innovation,” says UniFirst president and CEO, Steven Sintros.
“Its high-tech processing systems and our dedicated staff members will allow us to maximize service levels to area business' customers and will help ensure they are consistently receiving the very best products and personalized attention possible for many years to come.”
Local leaders and laundry industry and UniFirst representatives made up the crowd on hand to celebrate the opening.
“We’re a big company, but we still have a small-company feel, and that’s what makes UniFirst unique,” says Cynthia Croatti, executive vice president. “We still feel like a family.”
After opening remarks from Africa Tarver, executive director of planning and development for the Hammond Regional Development Commission; Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.; Councilman Mark Kalwinski; Darren Lane, general manager of the new facility; Croatti; and Sintros, attendees toured the facility and enjoyed a catered lunch.
Developed to accommodate a rapidly growing customer base in the Greater Hammond, Chicago, Evanston, Orland Park, and surrounding communities, the new plant replaces a smaller (outgrown) Hammond-based branch location and features the latest innovations in textile services technologies and automation.
The new operation and its staff of 80 are poised to provide local businesses with personalized service programs for uniforms and workwear, as well as facility service products like floor mats and mops, wipers and towels, and restroom and ancillary business products.
All employees from the previous facility have transitioned to the new location, and a 15% increase in staff is expected over the next three years to accommodate projected growth rates.
Spanning five acres, the new facility also has an eye on the “greener” side of operations, supporting greater energy efficiencies through heat reclaiming equipment, contemporary rooftop HVAC units, latest-generation machinery that requires less natural resources for the production and hygienic laundering of garments and textiles, and eco-conscious warehouse and office lighting.
In addition, all cleaning formulas and detergents are 100% environmentally friendly, and natural light throughout the plant offers a positive employee boost to the workday while saving on energy.
“To say we’re excited to bring this world-class operation to the Greater Hammond and Chicago markets would be an understatement,” says Lane.
“Our Hammond facility houses the very best of all the technological advancements we’ve made over the years and serves as a model for new UniFirst servicing operations to come. It also reinforces our ongoing commitment to quality, efficiency, and industry-leading customer service, and represents UniFirst’s long-term commitment to the local business community.”
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