The Hershey Co. (IW 500/170) last week announced the opening of a new facility featuring a $300 million investment in state-of-the-art technology never before used in the manufacture of confectionery.
The new technology was developed specifically for the plant, including highly automated, large-scale Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate operations. In fact the new Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate lines that can produce more than 70 million Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates per day.
The plant’s advanced Information Technology systems include automated, real-time diagnostics systems to help keep operations running smoothly 24 hours a day.
The expanded West Hershey facility is one of the company’s largest capital investments and represents one of the largest construction projects in Pennsylvania in two decades.
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.
“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, CEO, The Hershey Company.
With 4,800 employees in Pennsylvania, 8,800 in the United States and14,000 worldwide, The Hershey Co. is the third-largest manufacturer in the state.
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 also continues Hershey's commitment to sustainability and the environment. The building expansion was a “Zero Waste to Landfill” (ZWL) construction project and the plant will continue to operate as a ZWL plant.
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.
West Hershey is one of the company's eight manufacturing sites in the United States. Locations include: Hazleton, Pa.; Stuarts Draft, Va.; Memphis, Tenn.; Lancaster, Pa.; Robinson, Ill.; Ashland, Ore. and the Reese’s plant in Hershey, Pa.