HP Hood, a branded dairy operator, will invest $84.6 million to expand its Frederick County, Virginia, production center. The expansion will increase the company’s ultra-high temperature production capacity, creating 75 new jobs.
Founded in 1846 and headquartered in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Hood's portfolio of national and super-regional brands and franchise products includes Hood, Crowley, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, LACTAID, BAILEYS Coffee Creamers, HERSHEY'S Milk and Milkshakes and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
For more than 20 years, Hood has been committed to ultra-high-temperature processing and today stands as a leader in the production of UHT dairy products. Growth of Hood's UHT beverage business drove the need to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity and add new processing and packaging technologies to its operations, the company said on its website.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said, "HP Hood established its ultra-high temperature processing plant in Frederick County in 2001 and employed 170 people. The company has invested and grown jobs over the past 13 years, and this major investment will expand production capacity and, with the addition of 75 new jobs, bring total employment at the facility to 500. This expansion further secures the Frederick County operation's standing as the largest plant of its type in the United States. Virginia is honored by this partnership with Hood, and lauds the continued growth of the burgeoning food and beverage industry in the Commonwealth."
"As one of Frederick County's largest manufacturing employers, HP Hood is a tremendous asset to the Commonwealth," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "An investment of this magnitude is a huge win, and emphasizes Hood's confidence in the business climate and infrastructure available in Frederick County. We look forward to the company's continued success in Virginia."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Frederick County and the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission to assist the company with its expansion. Governor McDonnell approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Frederick County with the project. The Governor also approved a $1 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance would provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.
"We are proud that HP Hood has selected Frederick County for its most recent expansion and pleased that the expansion will create 75 additional jobs for our community," said Richard Shickle, Chairman of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. "The fact that the largest plant of its type will be operating in our area is a testament to Frederick County's business environment, our infrastructure capabilities, and the quality and availability of our workforce."