Athens County Non-Profit Produces One Millionth Jar

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An Athens County non-profit is packing products as fast as its conveyor belt will allow.

The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, also known as ACENet, reached a milestone Wednesday, as it produced the one-millionth bottle during the production of Vino de Milo products.  

It's the first time in 17 years that this many jars have been produced in one calendar year. Last year, the organization produced more than 900,000 units during production.

Angie Maiden, president and CEO of ACEnet, said the goal of hitting the one-million mark indicates the growth of the local food sector.

"It's a very big indicator for us because it lets us know that they food sector is definitely thriving in Southeastern Ohio, and it also means that we need to continue our process of increasing our capacity as ACEnet," she said. "It means bigger equipment, faster equipment and it's our way of being able to keep costs down for our company and increase the production. It also helps us with our revenue so we can be a sustainable non-profit in the region."

Maiden said as many as 60,000 units could be produced by the end of the year. She said in the upcoming year, the organization hopes to get new equipment and add more local to the ACEnet network.

Within the past year, ACEnet has worked with 115 food businesses in 66 of Ohio's 88 counties, most in the Appalachian region.