Sabra plant opens, 260 new jobs added

Published: May. 26, 2010 at 11:33 AM EDT|Updated: May. 28, 2010 at 5:57 PM EDT
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By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Sabra Dipping Company, a food manufacturing plant, held it's grand opening in Chesterfield County today. The company is creating 260 new jobs.

Sabra has only been making hummus and Mediterranean dips since 1986. But the company already outgrew it's plant in Queens, New York.

After considering other sites in North Carolina and New Jersey, Virginia's skilled workforce, short distance to the port, and state and local incentives brought Sabra to Chesterfield County.

Said Governor Bob McDonnell, "This is a huge announcement. Nearly 300 jobs in Chesterfield County, $60 million investment. It's part of the Governor's Opportunity Fund that Governor Kaine helped to invest a couple of years ago."

Dan Gecker with the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors added, "There were both state and local incentives involved here to help fast track this through the process. This building was built in 13 months, which is a record for a building of this type."

The company's focus is not only to make nutritious dips, but to do it environmentally. Among other green features, the new plant will use 35 percent renewable energy, enough to offset power used by 573 homes, and the food packaging is recycled plastic.

Products are already being made by 100 staffers already hired, powered forward by parent companies PepsiCo and Israeli food maker Strauss.

Said Governor McDonnell, "The fact that you've got the second largest food manufacturing company in Israel and the second largest company in the world, PepsiCo, working together, you know there's going to be a lot of marketing resources behind it. We look forward to this company continuing to grow and prosper, meaning more jobs for Virginia."

Sabra CEO Ronen Zohar tells us, "I hope more than 500 people, that's for sure, depending how fast we can add new product lines."

Sabra officials say they're still looking to fill about 160 positions, primarily trained machine operators. Employees will work one of three round-the-clock shifts. The company says salaries are competitive.

Applicants can apply through, and by visiting any Capital Region Workforce Center.

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