Hershey announces $135M Augusta County expansion
The chocolate producer invested $104M last May
The Hershey Co. will invest $135 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Augusta County, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday. The 90,000-square-foot expansion of the Stuarts Draft facility will create 110 jobs.
Hershey Chocolate of Virginia Inc. has operated in Augusta County for more than 30 years, employing more than 1,000 workers. The Augusta County facility is Hershey’s second-largest U.S. plant. In May 2019, Hershey announced a $104 million expansion of the Virginia facility, which created 65 jobs.
“The Shenandoah Valley has been an excellent place for Hershey to do business and be a part of the community for 38 years now,” Jason Reiman, The Hershey Co. senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, said in a statement. “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 Hershey, Pennsylvania-based chocolate producer giant celebrated its 125th anniversary last year. With more than 80 brands, Hershey currently employs approximately 16,500 people and brings in $8 billion in annual revenues. Some of its brands include Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, IceBreakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.
“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 in a statement. “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 Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County to secure the project for Virginia, and Northam approved a $1.1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Augusta County with the project. The company can also earn a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Performance program. VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program will help with job creation and funding services.
“For over three decades, The Hershey Co. has been an important contributor to the Shenandoah Valley’s economy and reputation as a top location for food and beverage manufacturers,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “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.”