McKee Foods to invest $19M in expansion of Stuarts Draft facility
The expansion will create 78 new jobs, according to company officials.
“McKee Foods initially recognized the strategic advantage of building a manufacturing facility in Augusta County more than two decades ago,” said Randy Smith, vice president of operations at the Stuarts Draft McKee facility.
“A major point in that decision was seeing that the Shenandoah Valley gave us access to a highly-skilled workforce. Today, we’re pleased to be able to expand our production capabilities here, to employ more of our neighbors and to add to the more than $46 million annual economic impact we currently make – all for the betterment of our local communities,” Smith said.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Bob McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project.
The company is also eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities
“McKee Foods has been an industry leader in Augusta County for more than 20 years, and continues to grow due to increased product demand. This significant investment and 78 new jobs further augment the company’s status as one of the region’s largest employers and a driver of the local economy. McKee Foods is a great corporate partner to Virginia,” McDonnell said.
Headquartered in Collegedale, Tenn., McKee Foods represents a group of companies that provide a livelihood for more than 6,000 employees, and has annual sales in excess of $1 billion. The company’s products are available across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and on U.S. military bases around the world.
McKee is best known for its line of Little Debbie® brand snack cakes. Its product lines also include Sunbelt®, Heartland® and Fieldstone™ Bakery.
“McKee Foods’ ongoing investments and career opportunities have enriched the Augusta County community and beyond for more than two decades,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “This expansion represents a re-commitment from the company to the region and to the Commonwealth, and I look forward to McKee Foods’ continued success in the next 20 years to come.”
“Augusta County is justifiably proud to have been selected by McKee Foods for its next expansion,” said Tracy Pyles, chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.
“McKee has been a perfect corporate partner for our community that we greatly appreciate. The credit for being honored with this significant investment surely goes first to the McKee family for its continuing trust in this County, and then to the employees who had to have been a major factor in the choice to further invest in Stuarts Draft. It is a blessing to know that Augusta County’s tradition of producing wonderful employees with a superior work ethic continues in the workforce at Stuarts Draft. Thanks to all,” Pyles said.