McKee Foods Corporation, best known for its Little Debbie brand snacks and Fieldstone and Heartland bakery products, will invest $19 million to expand production at its manufacturing facility in Stuarts Draft, Augusta County, Virginia, creating an estimated 78 new jobs.
Governor Bob McDonnell said, "McKee Foods has been an industry leader in Augusta County for more than 20 years, and continues to grow due to increased product demand. This significant investment and 78 new jobs further augment the company's status as one of the region's largest employers and a driver of the local economy. McKee Foods is a great corporate partner to Virginia."
"McKee Foods' ongoing investments and career opportunities have enriched the Augusta County community and beyond for more than two decades," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "This expansion represents a re-commitment from the company to the region and to the Commonwealth, and I look forward to McKee Foods' continued success in the next 20 years to come."
"McKee Foods initially recognized the strategic advantage of building a manufacturing facility in Augusta County more than two decades ago," said Randy Smith, Vice President, McKee Foods Stuarts Draft operations. "A major point in that decision was seeing that the Shenandoah Valley gave us access to a highly-skilled workforce. Today, we're pleased to be able to expand our production capabilities here, to employ more of our neighbors and to add to the more than $46 million annual economic impact we currently make - all for the betterment of our local communities."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the expansion project for Virginia at its manufacturing plant located at 272 Patton Farm Road in Stuarts Draft, a town located several miles west of Richmond at the intersection of Interstates 64 and 81. As an incentive, Governor McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. The company is also eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.