Chobani R&D center

Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya speaks to the crowd Monday while Idaho Gov. Brad Little, second from right, and Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar stand nearby during a dedication for a new global R&D Center Monday in Twin Falls.

Chobani, the Greek yogurt manufacturer that already operates the world’s largest yogurt plant in Twin Falls, celebrated a ribbon-cutting yesterday at a new 71,000-square-foot, $21 million addition dubbed its “Innovation and Community Center” that will house Chobani’s research and development team, plus employee amenities such as a gym and cafeteria, the Times-News reports. “I am relieved for today,” Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said at a Monday ribbon cutting. “Three times this was delayed because of the urgency of other projects that we had to build.”

Gov. Brad Little was among those celebrating with the company at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the newspaper reports. Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar talked about how when Chobani arrived in the city seven years ago, unemployment was high — about 7%. Today unemployment has dropped to under 3%, and Barigar noted Chobani’s role in providing hundreds of good jobs for Magic Valley residents.“We all look forward to Hamdi’s next crazy idea,” the mayor said.

Ulukaya declared, “We’re not done yet,” promising more improvements at the giant plant. You can read the full report here from Times-News reporter Colin Tiernan.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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