For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2017
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: Suzanne Clark, (804) 545-5806, Sclark@yesvirginia.org
| Wholesome Harvest Baking, Sylvia Sicuso, (416) 626-4316, Sylvia.Sicuso@grupobimbo.com
Governor McAuliffe Announces Wholesome Harvest Baking to Invest More Than $22 Million in City of Roanoke Operation
~The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will support the retraining of 324 employees on new machinery~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Wholesome Harvest Baking, a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest bakery companies, will invest $22.1 million to upgrade equipment and add a production line for artisan bread in its City of Roanoke operation. In addition, 324 existing employees will be retrained to operate the new machinery with support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).
“Wholesome Harvest Baking’s products are consumed around the globe, and we are proud that this industry giant continues to invest in the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This expansion strengthens the company’s future in the City of Roanoke and allows it to continue to benefit from the region’s infrastructure, assets, and strategic location. Staying competitive in a global market demands businesses’ constant evaluation of new technologies and requires a workforce with skills of the 21st century. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program helps ensure that our labor pool is readily recruitable, trained, and highly productive, which remains a key focus as we continue to diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”
“Wholesome Harvest Baking continues to be a strong employer in the City of Roanoke, and the decision to retrain more than 300 existing employees on new equipment is a great testament to the company’s commitment to the Roanoke Valley and the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Commercial bakeries are one of the largest sectors in the Commonwealth’s vibrant food processing industry, which employs more than 35,000 people. We thank the company for this major investment and look forward to its continued success in Virginia.”
With more than 100 years of experience in the bread business, Wholesome Harvest Baking has a proven track record of success and brought its expertise to the United States in 1996. In 2014, Mexican baking company Grupo Bimbo acquired this frozen bakery business and established the new Wholesome Harvest Baking LLC. Grupo Bimbo is the largest bakery corporation in the world, currently operating in 22 countries across four continents.
“We value our people who work in the Roanoke community and believe that a successful company is built on the talents of our many associates,” said Dan Curtin, President, Wholesome Harvest Baking. “We are proud to partner with the VJIP to provide our associates with quality training and are committed to fostering the personal and professional growth of our associates to provide our customers with exceptional products.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Wholesome Harvest’s job retraining through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens.
“For nearly 20 years, Wholesome Harvest Baking has provided gainful employment to hundreds of residents of the Roanoke Valley, and also been a strong supporter of infrastructure development within the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology, including the installation of sidewalks and initiation of bus service to the park,” said Sherman P. Lea, Sr., Mayor, City of Roanoke. “I am delighted to see Wholesome Harvest’s further commitment to the community by announcing this expansion. The City of Roanoke looks forward to continuing our partnerships with Wholesome Harvest for many years to come.”
“Wholesome Harvest Baking has served the City of Roanoke year after year by operationalizing its values and continually looking for ways to grow its employees,” said Delegate Sam Rasoul. “The retraining of current employees will ensure that our workforce is growing and developing new skills to meet the needs of our employers. We are privileged to have a company investing in the future of Roanoke, and hope to be able to continue to support each other.”
About Wholesome Harvest Baking:
Wholesome Harvest Baking, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo since 2014, is a leading producer of quality frozen and par-baked products for retail operators and in-store bakeries. Providing customers with custom solutions for private label initiatives and delicious packaged baked goods, Wholesome Harvest Baking delivers nutritious and delicious products. In business for more than 100 years, the Company operates seven bakeries in North America and employs approximately 1,400 associates in the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit www.wholesomeharvestbaking.com.