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Kitt Kittredge, founder of Fabri-Kal, speaks Oct. 15, during the grand opening of the Burley plant.

TWIN FALLS • Fabri-Kal Corp. of Burley has received state funding to train 53 new employees and plans to move a research and development facility to Burley from South Dakota.

The Idaho Department of Labor awarded the company a $159,000 Workforce Development Training Fund grant to train the new employees.

Fabri-Kal manufactures plant-based resin used for plastic cups, plates and silverware. The company plans to move its research and development facility for Greenware, a biodegradable product made from wheat and soybean straw, from South Dakota to Burley.

The 53 full-time positions will pay an average wage of $18.87 per hour plus employer-assisted medical benefits. The positions include managers, technicians, line operators and material handlers.

Susan Simmons, deputy director of workforce development for the Department of Labor, said the grant will be paid out as new employees are hired. Grants are usually for two years, she said.

The fund is administered and managed by the Idaho Department of Labor. In addition to issuing company grants, the Idaho Workforce Development Training Fund is designed to bring businesses and education together to work toward meeting specific industry training needs.

Since its inception in 1996, more than 362 Idaho businesses have received $89 million to train 27,000 workers at an average hourly wage of $14.

Fabri-Kal opened its Burley plant in October.

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