Governor Bob McDonnell announced that Shearer's Foods, one of the largest producers of private label salty snacks in North America, will invest $4.75 million to expand its operation in the City of Bristol, Virginia. The expansion will add a tortilla chip line to better serve the needs of customers in the Southeast U.S. Virginia successfully competed against Tennessee for the project, which will create approximately 20-25 new jobs.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "This snack food manufacturing operation has served the region for more than 40 years, and employs more than 200 in the City of Bristol. Shearer's Foods' multi-million dollar investment to expand and add an additional manufacturing line further solidifies the company's future as a long-term corporate citizen as it grows and expands its markets. Bristol is a great fit for Shearer's Foods, and we look forward to the company's new jobs and continued success in Southwest Virginia."
"Since 1968, this plant in the City of Bristol has been producing snacks, and Shearer's Foods continues to expand the markets it serves," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "The expansion of a thriving operation and new jobs is tremendous news for Southwest Virginia, and we are confident that a new product line and additional warehousing space will ensure success in the decades to come."
Founded in 1974 in Brewster, Ohio, and headquartered in Massillon, Ohio, Shearer's Foods is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of Shearer's award-winning snacks, one of the largest producers of private label salty snacks in North America. The company currently employs 2,000 people in five different states. The Bristol location presently has 275 employees and produces a variety of tortilla and potato chip products. This site has been making snack foods since 1968 and was purchased by Shearer's in 2010.
"The Shearer's facility located in Bristol, Virginia was selected as the ideal site to expand operations partially based on the economic incentives provided by the City of Bristol and the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, we were attracted to the great skilled workforce available in the Bristol area," said Mark Schwerdtfeger, Vice President at Shearer's Foods.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Bristol and Virginia's a Corridor to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $75,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Bristol with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $245,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities.
"The City of Bristol, Virginia is proud to be a central part of the Shearer's Foods family," said Bristol Mayor Guy Odum. "Shearer's Foods is a great corporate citizen. To be selected as the site for this expansion is an expression of their trust in our workforce and our partnership. The City enjoys strong relationships with the Commonwealth, from the Governor's Office to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to the VEDP, the aCorridor, the VDBA, and the Tobacco Commission. We even have support from the Tennessee Valley Authority as our energy provider through Bristol Virginia Utilities. These strong, collaborative partnerships are what establish Virginia as the best state for doing business, and the City of Bristol shares in that success. We look forward to even more growth from this fantastic company."
"For the third time in a week, Southwest Virginia can celebrate new employment opportunities for our citizens," said Senator Charles W. Carrico, member, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. "The success and expansion of Shearer's Foods is a victory for the people of this region and is a credit to the leaders and organizations who worked together to make this possible. I am encouraged by this announcement and others, and I look forward to working with companies like Shearer's Foods to make sure Southwest Virginia continues to move toward an economic resurgence."