August 03, 2004

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Dean Strobel
Morningstar Foods, LLC
Jill Vaughan
(804) 371-0049
-Dairy company’s $57 million investment to create 50 new jobs-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced a $57 million expansion of the Morningstar Foods distribution center in Rockingham County. The expansion will also result in 50 new jobs for area residents. Virginia successfully competed with California, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, and Wisconsin for the project.

“Morningstar Foods’ decision to expand its state-of-the-art dairy processing facility is a welcomed opportunity for Rockingham County,” said Governor Warner. “The Valley will gain additional revenue and employment, while the company will benefit from the region’s skilled workers.”

Morningstar Foods is a subsidiary of Dean Foods, one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States. Its Dairy Group division is the largest processor and distributor of milk and other dairy products in the country, with an extensive refrigerated direct-store delivery network. Through its White Wave and Horizon Organic subsidiaries, Dean Foods Company is also the nation’s leading manufacturer of soymilk, organic milk, and other organic foods. The company’s Specialty Foods Group is a leading manufacturer of pickles and other specialty food products. The Rockingham County facility is one of the 120 plants in 36 U.S. states and Spain that Dean Foods operate, which employ approximately 29,000 people.

“Dean Foods chose the Mt. Crawford facility for this expansion for numerous reasons. One of the most important is the excellent labor pool and employee work ethic that we have seen with previous expansions to the facility, as well the proximity to the East Coast population base and existing land to expand our operations,” said Dean Strobel, Senior Plant Manager.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, with help from Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, prepared the state’s proposal and negotiated an incentive package to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program to close the deal. The VIP program offers financial assistance to existing Virginia companies proposing significant expansion projects. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will support the project through its Workforce Services program.


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