The Hershey Company, the leading North American chocolate producer and a global snacks company, will invest $104 million to grow its major manufacturing operation in Augusta County, Virginia.
The 111,000-square-foot expansion of the existing facility will increase production capabilities. The expanded facility will manufacture penuche and peanut cream, which will be distributed to other Hershey facilities on the East Coast. The Hershey Company evaluated potential expansion locations nationally and ultimately chose Augusta County for the project, which will create 65 new jobs.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia and Augusta County have been part of Hershey’s success for more than 35 years,” said Susanna Zhu, Vice President, U.S. Supply Chain, The Hershey Company. “We are pleased to build on this partnership with our plant expansion and continue to make Stuarts Draft a key to delighting consumers across the United States and around the world with our iconic products.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. Governor Northam also approved a $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Performance program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. The company is eligible to receive Sales and Use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment, as well as a Major Business Facilities job tax credit for new, full-time jobs created.
“For more than thirty years, The Hershey Company has continued to grow in Augusta County, creating hundreds of jobs and setting the bar for a thriving food and beverage industry cluster in the Shenandoah Valley,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “The company’s economic contribution to Virginia cannot be overstated, and we look forward to many more years of success for Hershey with this major investment and the establishment of a new Roasting Center of Excellence.”
The company currently employs more than 1,000 people in Virginia, with the majority of those jobs located at its manufacturing facility in Augusta County.
“The Hershey Company’s expansion is an exciting win for Augusta County and Virginia, and a true testament to the Shenandoah Valley’s ability to attract and retain high caliber companies,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Food and beverage processing is the heart of the region’s manufacturing sector, employing over 5 percent of the Valley’s labor force of more than 175,000 people. Virginia is proud to have Hershey on its corporate roster, and we look forward to the next 37 years.”