A sweet deal – Hershey’s opens expanded Pennsylvania plant
$300 million investment will allowed production of 70 million Kisses a day
The Hershey Company has opened what the company called: “The world’s most technologically advanced chocolate making facility.” A $300 million investment in the Hershey, Pa., plant includes technology designed to help the candy maker produce 70 million of the company’s iconic Kisses each day.
“Today, we are celebrating our proud Pennsylvania heritage, the growing popularity of Hershey products in global markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great workers who make it possible to enjoy these iconic products,” said John P. Bilbrey, president and CEO, The Hershey Company.
“Hershey employees built this dynamic business during the first century of chocolate making in Hershey starting in 1905. Today, we honor each of those individuals and our history and applaud those who designed, built and operate our Factory of the Future,” Bilbrey said. “They continue to produce the finest chocolate confectionery right here in Hershey, Pa., where it all began. Together, we are securing the next century of growth for this iconic company.”
The West Hershey plant is expected to contribute more than $1 billion to the economy of Pennsylvania over the next five years through supplier contracts, payroll and related spending.
“I am proud the Commonwealth was able to partner with Hershey as they grow, evolve, create jobs, train great employees and continue their commitment to Pennsylvania’s prosperity,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.
Investing in Pennsylvania to Grow Globally
The new 340,000 sq. ft. expansion at West Hershey is located less than two miles from the company’s original chocolate factory opened in 1905 by Milton Hershey. Key features include:
- The latest manufacturing technology and proprietary candy manufacturing equipment that speeds production, delivers consistent high quality and provides the opportunity to produce new products in the future.
- High-speed, high-tech new production lines with the capacity to support Hershey’s growing business now and well into the future. This includes the most technologically advanced, automated chocolate syrup production lines in the world.
- New Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate lines that can produce more than 70 million Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates per day.
The expansion is Pennsylvania’s single largest manufacturing investment since the construction of the original West Hershey plant in 1991. The new development infused $70 million into the Pennsylvania economy and created more than 300 construction jobs.
The plant’s workforce includes about 700 employees who transitioned from the original Hershey plant on East Chocolate Ave. – the company’s oldest facility, which ran continuously from 1905 until its retirement in April 2012.
Hershey’s manufacturing presence and investments bring significant economic benefit to the local and regional economies.
- Hershey’s $300 million investment is the largest direct investment by a food manufacturer in Pennsylvania in the last 20 years. Hershey’s Project Next Century included about $25 million in materials and supplies sourced in Pennsylvania.
- With 4,800 employees in Pennsylvania, 8,800 in the United States and 14,000 worldwide, The Hershey Company is the third-largest manufacturer in the state.
- Hershey trained approximately 700 employees to prepare them to work in the plant’s high-tech manufacturing environment.
- The West Hershey plant includes stainless steel corn syrup and fresh milk silos with the capacity to hold millions of pounds of fresh ingredients. All of the silos were manufactured in Lancaster County, Pa.
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2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.