By CANADIAN VENDING
Governor Ralph Northam announced that The Hershey Company will invest $135 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Augusta County. The company will increase production capacity at its existing facility in Stuarts Draft by 90,000 square feet and create 110 new jobs.
“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 in a press release. “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 celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019, is a leading North American chocolate producer and global snacks company and is headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey has approximately 16,500 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands that drive US$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.
“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 in the same statement. “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 Program.