Company Announces Salt Mine Expansion and Unveils New Training Center, Apprenticeship Program
LOREAUVILLE, La., Feb. 7, 2017 – In a continued effort to evolve for the next generation, Morton Salt, Inc. today unveiled an expansion of its Weeks Island, La. salt mine as well as the launch of a new industrial training center and apprenticeship program for employees across the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas. Company executives shared the announcement as part of a ceremonial opening of the new Morton Salt Training Center located in Loreauville, La.
Weeks Island Mine Modernization
To meet growing customer demand, Morton Salt is nearing completion of a $35 million transformation project at its Weeks Island mine to significantly improve processing capabilities and storage capacity, while modernizing key operating equipment. Scheduled for completion in summer 2017, these initiatives at the company’s Weeks Island mine will deliver a capacity increase of 60 percent, to 2.3 million tons of salt per year. In addition, the company has identified further expansion potential at the mine to support market growth in the decades to come.
At its Weeks Island mine, Morton produces salt for chemical and agricultural applications as well as roadway de-icing purposes. More than half of the salt produced at the company’s Weeks Island mine is road salt, which is transported to Midwestern markets to help keep streets and highways safe during the winter season.
“Morton Salt has one of the broadest and most expansive production networks in the salt industry and our Weeks Island investment demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our North American footprint,” said Morton Salt CEO Christian Herrmann. “The enhancements will position us to improve service to new and existing customers and respond quickly for an evolving marketplace.”
Morton Salt Training Center
As part of its commitment to learning and development, Morton Salt opened a new, 7,200-square-foot training center this year to serve as a hub for Morton Salt employees to continuously update their industrial training, skills and education.
The Morton Salt Training Center offers multi-year mechanical and electrical apprenticeship programs, led by two full-time instructors.
“The training center is an investment in our people, our future and our continued focus on safety and efficiency,” said Jim Vincent, Vice President of Operations at Morton Salt. “As we continue to modernize and expand our facilities, it’s critical that we have a deep pool of highly skilled talent to maintain our commitment to delivering high quality products and service.”
The Morton Salt Training Center is situated approximately 20 miles from the company’s Weeks Island salt mine, where Morton Salt has had a presence since 1958 and today employs nearly 200 people.
It features classrooms, technical labs and state-of-the-art equipment including hydraulics, pneumatics, pumps, welding, mechanical drive systems, industrial controls, industrial wiring, electrical sensors and more.
The apprenticeship program has kicked off with 10 students in the multi-year mechanical program. A similar industrial electrical program will begin in July 2017. The programs will offer the most up-to-date training, equipment and instruction to enhance the skills of Morton Salt’s workforce for years to come. The center will also offer one- and two-week courses for current team members to receive updated training and development opportunities throughout the year.
The training center is the latest addition to Morton Salt’s footprint. In recent years, Morton Salt expanded its R&D center in Elgin, Ill. as well as its salt production sites in Grantsville, Ut. and Port Canaveral, Fla. In 2016, Morton Salt also moved into a new corporate headquarters office in Chicago, Ill.
About Morton Salt, Inc.
Morton Salt, Inc., part of the K+S Group, is the trusted authority in salt in North America. Our iconic Morton® brand, coupled with the broadest footprint in the industry has made us a leader since 1848. We produce salt for culinary, water softening, household and road deicing, food processing, chemical, pharmaceutical, and numerous other industrial uses. Headquartered in Chicago, Morton has nearly 3,000 employees committed to safety, quality, service and the communities in which we operate.
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