Ohio-based snack manufacturer expanding Waterford facility, creating dozens of jobs

Employment News

An Ohio-based snack manufacturer is expanding its Erie County facility, Governor Tom Wolf announced Thursday.

Ohio-based Shearer’s Foods is a contract manufacturer and private brand supplier for salty snacks, cookies, and crackers.

Shearer’s Foods will be expanding its existing Waterford facility to include a new product line for its snack foods processing operation and will also add a baked line to support increased product demand.  

“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,” Gov. Wolf said in a news release. “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.”

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 $27.5 million in construction, new equipment and infrastructure improvements, creating at least 36 new food manufacturing jobs and retaining 175 jobs. 

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team.

“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,” Fritz Kohmann, Shearer’s Chief Financial Officer, said in the news release.  “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.”

Shearer’s Foods is known for producing organic, gluten free, non-GMO and kosher salty snacks, 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. 

“Shearer’s commitment to Erie through this expansion and the jobs provided is so important to our community,” Tina Mengine, Chief Executive Officer, Erie County Redevelopment Authority, said in the news release. “The governor and his team have consistently been good economic development partners and we are equally appreciative of their investment in Shearer’s as we are of Shearer’s investment in Erie.” 

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