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Governor Gilmore Announces More Than 200 New Jobs in Augusta County
London - During his European trade mission, Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that McKee Foods will expand its operations in Stuarts Draft. The company, producer of Little Debbie® snack cakes, will create more than 200 new jobs with this expansion, investing $44.8 million to add two new bake lines and increase the production capacity of the existing facility. Virginia successfully competed with Tennessee and Arkansas for the investment.
"I am pleased to announce that McKee Foods, a leader in the baked goods industry, is expanding its facility in Stuarts Draft," Governor Gilmore said. "My administration is committed to fostering a business-friendly environment to encourage existing business to expand right here at home."
Governor Gilmore approved a $425,000 grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program to assist McKee Foods with the expansion. The VIP program is designed to offer financial assistance to existing Virginia companies. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and Augusta County assisted McKee Foods with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.
McKee Foods Corporation, family owned for more than 60 years, is best known for its line of Little Debbie® snack cakes. Little Debbie® is America's leading snack-cake brand in unit sales. There are 75 varieties of Little Debbie® snack cakes, including seasonal products. The company also produces more than 20 different snacks and granola cereals under the name Sunbelt®. The company headquarters is located in Collegedale, Tenn.
"This is an important investment in the Stuarts Draft plant," explained Jack McKee, President & CEO. "We selected this location for expansion due to low turnover of employees and the continued growth in the performance results of the plant by a dedicated group of employees. The plant is located in a pro-business environment and we have good relationships with local and state authorities."
"McKee Foods is a steadfast corporate citizen," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal. "We are delighted to play a part in their ongoing growth here in Virginia."