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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Stafford plant to add 350 jobs

Greencore Group produces food-to-go for customers such as 7-Eleven.

Ireland-based Greencore Group plc plans to add 350 new jobs at its Stafford County food-processing plant off U.S. 17.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will formally announce the jobs Tuesday afternoon at Greencore’s McLane Drive plant off U.S. 17 near the Interstate 95 interchange. Greencore will invest $5.75 million to upgrade the plant and its equipment.

McDonnell met with Greencore officials last July at their Dublin headquarters. Greencore has several other East Coast plants and chose Virginia for the expansion.

The 52,000-square-foot Greencore plant in Stafford produces food-to-go such as salads and sandwiches sold in 7-Elevens and other convenience stores. The expansion is due to a significant new food-service contract that Greencore received.

Details of the new contract were not available.

About 250 people currently work at the Stafford plant, so when the expansion is complete within the next year or two Greencore will employ about 600 people locally. That will make it one of Stafford’s larger employers.

Greencore has been holding job fairs in the Fredericksburg area over the past few weeks to hire new workers. Average wages for the new jobs, most of which will involve line work, are expected to be about $29,000.

Greencore, whose Stafford facility is near McLane Mid-Atlantic, was formerly called MarketFare Foods. Greencore bought MarketFare about a year ago.

Greencore will receive $75,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which was formed last year to boost Virginia-grown produce. Thirty percent of the ingredients that go into Greencore’s local products — such as cabbage, peppers and other commodities — will be grown in Virginia.

Stafford’s Board of Supervisors last year approved a local match of $75,000 from the Stafford Opportunity Fund for Greencore.

The company will also receive $154,000 from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program to help train new workers at the plant.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2013/03/26/stafford-plant-to-add-350-jobs/

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