HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf announced Sept. 16 that snack manufacturer Shearer’s Foods has chosen to expand its company in Erie, creating dozens of new jobs, retaining hundreds of existing positions, and injecting millions of dollars into the local economy.
“We in Pennsylvania know that our commonwealth is the best place to live and do business, and Shearer’s decision to grow here in Erie is a testament to our great quality of life and friendly business climate,” said Gov. Wolf. “We look forward to seeing the new opportunities presented to northwest Pennsylvania as Shearer’s expands, creates jobs, and better serves its growing customer base.”
Headquartered in Ohio, Shearer’s Foods is a contract manufacturer and private brand supplier for salty snacks, cookies, and crackers in 11 production facilities in the US and Canada. The company will expand its existing Waterford, Erie County facility to include a new product line for its snack foods processing operation and will add a baked line to support increased product demand.
“We are very excited for this high priority and strategic project and the opportunity to significantly expand our Pennsylvania operations. We are also extremely appreciative for the meaningful support and commitment from Governor Wolf, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Erie County Redevelopment Authority,” said Fritz Kohmann, Shearer’s Chief Financial Officer. “Our Waterford operation has been a great success story, thanks to the strength of our Waterford team members and, in no small part, the support from the State and County.”
The company received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for $1.75 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding and a $135,000 workforce development grant to help the company train workers. The company has committed to investing approximately $27.5 million in construction, new equipment and infrastructure improvements, and creating at least 36 new food manufacturing jobs and retaining 175 jobs.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
Shearer’s is known for producing organic, gluten free, non-GMO and kosher salty snacks in assorted flavors and sizes, including kettle-cooked potato chips, traditional potato chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, baked chips, cheese curls, a variety of pellet based and extruded snacks, and a full line of national brand equivalent and value cookies, crackers and wafers.