Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that The Hershey Company will invest $135 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Augusta County. The company will increase production capacity at its existing facility in Stuarts Draft by 90,000 square feet and create 110 new jobs.
“As we work to accelerate Virginia’s economic recovery, existing corporate partners like The Hershey Company are leading the way with new hiring and investment,” said Governor Northam. “This major expansion is the company’s second in just over a year, and is a strong testament to the Shenandoah Valley’s ability to attract and retain high-caliber manufacturers. We thank Hershey for its continued confidence in Virginia and its people, and look forward to the company’s next chapter of growth in our Commonwealth.”
The Hershey Company, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019, is the leading North American chocolate producer and global snacks company and is headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey has approximately 16,500 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, IceBreakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate’s Booty.
Hershey Chocolate of Virginia, Inc. has operated in Augusta County for more than 30 years and employs more than 1,000 people. The Virginia facility is the company’s second-largest plant in the United States. In May 2019, Governor Northam joined Hershey to announce a $104 million investment and 65 new jobs to expand production capacity at the company’s Augusta County operation.
“For over three decades, The Hershey Company has been an important contributor to the Shenandoah Valley’s economy and reputation as a top location for food and beverage manufacturers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “It is an honor to partner with Hershey on another major investment and expansion, especially during these challenging times, and we stand ready to do what we can to ensure the company’s Stuarts Draft operation continues to thrive.”
“The Shenandoah Valley has been an excellent place for Hershey to do business and be a part of the community for 38 years now,” said Jason Reiman, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at The Hershey Company. “We are proud to continue to invest and grow in an area that gives our employees a great place to live and work. Increasingly, Augusta County and Virginia are critical to our company’s growth and ability to deliver iconic and beloved products to consumers around the world.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $1.1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. The Governor also approved a performance-based grant of $500,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Funding and services to support Hershey’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“The Hershey Company’s remarkable continued investment in Augusta County is a testament to the company’s dedication to improvement, modernity, and our workforce,” said Gerald Garber, Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors. “The strengthening of Hershey’s supply chain within Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley, along with the upcoming Peanut Roasting Center of Excellence, illustrates the strengths of our region and the opportunity for growth that we offer.”
“Hershey’s dedication to increasing jobs comes at a critical time,” added Steve Morelli, member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and representative of the South River District where the facility is located. “The company’s expansion means more career opportunities when many may be looking for work, a different career path, and a way forward. We are thankful for Hershey’s choice to expand in Augusta County.”
“Hershey is a phenomenal community and state partner,” said Senator Emmett Hanger. “Bringing new jobs to our area at this time is critical and builds on the well-established business strengths that benefit our citizens and tax bases. We are proud to continue working with Hershey to ensure they expand here in the Valley.”
“It is always great news when a business decides to expand,” said Delegate Ronnie Campbell. “Hershey is a wonderful company with a strong environmental record, and we are happy to hear that they will be adding 110 new jobs to the district as a result of this investment in our community. Their $135 million investment will have a significant positive impact within Augusta County and Northern Rockbridge.”