RICHMOND, VA. — The Hershey Co. has announced plans to invest $135 million to expand its manufacturing plant in Stuarts Draft, Va. The expansion will increase production capacity at the plant by 90,000 square feet and create 110 new 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,” said Jason Reiman, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer at Hershey. “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 announcement comes a little more than a year after Hershey unveiled plans to invest $104 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Stuarts Draft. As part of that expansion, Hershey added 111,000 square feet, including the addition of a separate 46,000-square-foot standalone building that houses the Hershey Peanut Roasting Center of Excellence, which is not yet operational.
Hershey said the announcement made on June 30 will expand on last year’s investment, with the company set to install additional new manufacturing lines in the space that was created in the last project. The manufacturing lines will be for Reese’s brand products, and the new project will create additional facilities for the company’s employees, such as offices and locker and break rooms.
The Virginia facility is the company’s second-largest plant in the United States. In addition to making Reese’s brand products, the Stuarts Draft plant makes different sizes of classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Mounds and Almond Joy, Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s Sticks, Reese’s Shapes, Nutrageous, Reese’s Take 5, Reese’s Fast Break, Whatchamacallit and baking pieces.
Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia approved a $1.1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with Hershey’s latest expansion 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.