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United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) plans to open a 450,000-square-foot distribution center in Gilroy, Calif., in August, a move that will bring about 500 new jobs to the surrounding community. Designed and constructed with sustainability in mind, the facility is expected to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.
The new facility is part of UNFI's expansion into the Bay Area, to build upon its existing distribution network in California, which also includes facilities in Rocklin and Moreno Valley. The Gilroy distribution center will enable the Providence, R.I.-based company to keep improving efficiencies, lower operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Among the center's sustainable design elements are energy-efficient LED lighting and carbon dioxide refrigeration systems; automation systems that include controls for lighting and refrigeration, with optimization of energy use expected to reduce costs by more than 26 percent; efficient fixtures that will reduce water use by 50 percent; and the use of on-site ponds and bio-retention designs that will limit the project's impact on the environment by reducing stormwater runoff
Positions UNFI is seeking to fill at the Gilroy facility include managers, supervisors, Class A CDL Drivers, warehouse workers and forklift drivers, as well as workers in the areas of inventory control, safety, maintenance and sanitation. The company will also host job fairs in late May, with additional details to come in the following weeks. Open positions will be posted online.
UNFI carries and distributes more than 80,000 products to more than 40,000 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats, including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the foodservice channel.