The Hersey Company, manufacturer of chocolate kisses, candy bars, candies and syrup, plans a sweet $300 million investment and 340,000 square foot expansion at its production facility in West Hershey, Pennsylvania.
"The new facility features proprietary, state-of-the-art technology never before used in the manufacture of confectionery. The new technology was developed specifically for the plant, including highly-automated, large-scale Hershey's Kisses Chocolate operations that can produce more than 70 million Hershey Kisses per day. The plant's advanced Information Technology systems include automated, real-time diagnostics systems to help keep operations running smoothly 24 hours a day," a Hershey's spokesman said.
"The West Hershey facility is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our tremendous plant employees," said Terry O'Day, Senior Vice President, Global Operations. "I am proud of how our people have adapted quickly and recognized the opportunities provided by the latest technology. They contribute directly to improved quality, speed and efficiency. They truly represent the manufacturing employees of the future, operating one of the most technologically advanced candy factories in the world."
The firm said its expanded West Hershey facility, which employs more than 700 workers, is one of the company's largest capital investments and represents one of the largest construction projects in Pennsylvania in two decades.
"We are celebrating our proud Pennsylvania heritage, the growing popularity of Hershey products in global markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great workers who make it possible to enjoy these iconic products," said John P. Bilbrey, President and CEO.
As a major employer in the state, the West Hershey plant is expected to contribute more than $1 billion to the economy of Pennsylvania over the next five years through supplier contracts, payroll and related spending, he said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said, "I am working as Governor to ensure there is a job for every Pennsylvanian that wants one and an educated Pennsylvanian for every one of those jobs. I am proud the Commonwealth was able to partner with Hershey as they grow, evolve, create jobs, train great employees and continue their commitment to Pennsylvania's prosperity."
The Governor's Office said The Hershey Company received Opportunity Grant Program funds and state employee training funds during the expansion of the West Hershey Plant. Already, Hershey has invested more than $1.7 million in transition training to provide employees with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the new facility.