Chocolate and snacks manufacturer The Hershey Company intends to invest $104 million in an expansion project at its Stuarts Draft, VA manufacturing facility that will add 110,000-sq-ft of additional space for penuche and peanut cream production, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced in a press release Thursday.
Peanut cream and penuche produced at the Augusta County plant will be sent to other Hershey’s facilities for use in a variety of products. When the project reaches completion, about 65 new positions are expected to be created.
“For more than thirty years, The Hershey Company has continued to grow in Augusta County, creating hundreds of jobs and setting the bar for a thriving food and beverage industry cluster in the Shenandoah Valley,” Gov. Northam said in a statement. “The company’s economic contribution to Virginia cannot be overstated, and we look forward to many more years of success for Hershey with this major investment and the establishment of a new Roasting Center of Excellence.”
The governor signed off on a $600,000 grant to the company from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to Augusta County to support the effort. A $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Performance Fund was given to Hershey. The company can also take advantage of the commonwealth’s Sales and Use tax exemptions for manufacturing technology and the Major Business Facilities job tax credit for the positions it generates through the project.
Gov. Northam’s release did not offer details on the timeframe for completing the expansion.