The Hershey Co. is set to invest $135 million in expanding its manufacturing operation in Augusta County, Virginia, the office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
Hershey will increase production capacity at its existing facility in Stuarts Draft by 90,000 sq. ft. and create 110 new jobs.
“As we work to accelerate Virginia’s economic recovery, existing corporate partners like The Hershey Co. are leading the way with new hiring and investment,” Northam said. “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.”
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, Northam joined Hershey to announce a $104 million investment and 65 new jobs to expand production capacity at the company’s Augusta County operation.
“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 v.p. and chief supply chain officer at The Hershey Co. “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. Northam approved a $1.1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. Northam 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 Co.’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.”