HERMISTON Thirty new jobs are expected in Hermiston as Snack Alliance expands its line of healthy snacks.
The Vancouver, B.C.-a-based snackfood maker employs 90 people making potato chips, cheese curls and flavored popcorn. The company was considering making the new product, Riceworks, at its other factory in Bristol, Va., because its Hermiston plant wasn’t large enough, so local and state officials partnered to offer incentives to keep the jobs in Oregon.
The city and Umatilla County expanded the industrial enterprise zone to include the plant, which provides a tax break, says Jill Miles, with the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department.
The company also got $250,000 in loans to purchase equipment and build infrastructure, says Miles, with $150,000 of that forgivable if the company delivers on its promise to create 30 jobs within the next two years. Money from the governor’s strategic reserve fund was directed to the deal, she says.
Hermiston city manager Ed Brookshier says the incentive makes sense because he believes the increasing popularity of healthy snacks such as Riceworks will grow, thus leading to more economic growth for the area.
Patrick Lindenbach, chairman of Snack Alliance, says he was astounded how well city, county and state offices worked together to make it happen.
“Oregon has always been open for business,” he says.
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