Hershey invests $135 million expanding its Virginia production facilities
US major confectionery business Hershey is set to invest $135 million into expanding its manufacturing operation at Augusta County, Virginia, creating 110 new jobs.
Governor Ralph Northam today confirmed the news that the company will increase production capacity at its existing facility in Stuarts Draft by 90,000 square feet.
As reported by Confectionery Production, the expansion of its US site comes as the company, which last year celebrated its 125th anniversary, has made notable progress on its sustainability goals, outlined in its latest report.
“As we work to accelerate Virginia’s economic recovery, existing corporate partners like The Hershey Company are leading the way with new hiring and investment,” said Governor Northam. “This major expansion is the company’s second in just over a year, and is a strong testament to the Shenandoah Valley’s ability to attract and retain high-caliber manufacturers. We thank Hershey for its continued confidence in Virginia and its people, and look forward to the company’s next chapter of growth in our Commonwealth.”
The Hershey Company, which has global interests across its chocolate and snacks business, is headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It presently has approximately 16,500 employees, with more than 80 brands that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, IceBreakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate’s Booty.
Hershey Chocolate of Virginia, Inc. has operated in Augusta County for more than 30 years and employs more than 1,000 people. The Virginia facility is the company’s second-largest plant in the United States. In May 2019, Governor Northam joined Hershey to announce a $104 million investment and 65 new jobs to expand production capacity at the company’s Augusta County operation.
“For over three decades, The Hershey Company has been an important contributor to the Shenandoah Valley’s economy and reputation as a top location for food and beverage manufacturers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “It is an honour to partner with Hershey on another major investment and expansion, especially during these challenging times, and we stand ready to do what we can to ensure the company’s Stuarts Draft operation continues to thrive.”
“The Shenandoah Valley has been an excellent place for Hershey to do business and be a part of the community for 38 years now,” said Jason Reiman, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at The Hershey Company. “We are proud to continue to invest and grow in an area that gives our employees a great place to live and work. Increasingly, Augusta County and Virginia are critical to our company’s growth and ability to deliver iconic and beloved products to consumers around the world.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $1.1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project.
The Governor also approved a performance-based grant of $500,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Funding and services to support Hershey’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Programme.
“The Hershey Company’s remarkable continued investment in Augusta County is a testament to the company’s dedication to improvement, modernity, and our workforce,” said Gerald Garber, Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.
“The strengthening of Hershey’s supply chain within Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley, along with the upcoming Peanut Roasting Center of Excellence, illustrates the strengths of our region and the opportunity for growth that we offer.”