For Immediate Release - September 30, 2011

Governor Patrick Celebrates Expanded Coca-Cola Plant in Northampton

State, local support for new facility creates 100 jobs, attracts more than $50 million in private investment

Coca Cola Plant Expansion

Governor Patrick offers remarks in honor of the Coca Cola plant expansion in Northampton, Friday, September 30, 2011. (Photo: Matthew Bennett/Governor's Office)

 

NORTHAMPTON – Friday, September 30, 2011 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined employees and executive leadership at Coca-Cola Refreshments in Northampton to unveil the completion of Coca-Cola’s plant expansion. The project, which received financial support from the Patrick-Murray Administration and the City of Northampton, created 100 new jobs and attracted more than $50 million in private investment to the Western Massachusetts community.

“Infrastructure is the unglamorous work of government, but it supports everything else,” said Governor Patrick. “In this case, we awarded a $1.25 million grant to fund infrastructure upgrades that paved the way for Coca-Cola’s investment in this expanded facility, their workers and our community.  Today we celebrate a public-private partnership that puts people to work and strengthened the local economy.”

In addition to a $1.25 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to support improvements at Northampton’s Waste Water Treatment Facility necessary to facilitate the expansion, the Patrick-Murray Administration also awarded an investment tax credit worth $774,360 and approved Northampton’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement with Coca-Cola. Under its agreements with the state and city, Coca-Cola committed to creating 40 full-time manufacturing jobs over five years, retaining 176 existing jobs and investing $39.4 million in the project. The company has already exceeded their obligations by creating 100 jobs and directing over $50 million towards the project’s completion.

“One hundred new jobs is an especially big deal in an economy where we’ve battled back from the brink and still have tough work ahead. This is important for the company and its long-standing relationship with Massachusetts and really important for our workers,” said Senator John Kerry.

“Coca-Cola’s expansion in the Commonwealth is a testament to the success of the company and the cooperation of the public and private entities that made this project possible,” said Senator Scott Brown. “The investment in the local economy and the new jobs have been really encouraging, especially during this tough economic time.”

As part of the facility’s $50 million investment, two cold-fill juice lines producing primarily Minute Maid products were added in response to growing demand for Coca-Cola’s wide portfolio of offerings in the Northeast. The cold-fill project included all packaging, processing and infrastructure required to support the product line. Other facility improvements included a 13,000 square foot expansion and conversion of warehouse space to cold storage.

Troy Ellis, Sr. VP Manufacturing, Coca-Cola Refreshments, and Seth Goldman, Founder and TEO of Honest Tea also participated in today’s celebration which featured remarks from the Governor as well as a tour of the cold-fill station with Coca-Cola employees.

“The growth of this facility can be directly tied to our consumers' evolving needs and preferences for a broader product portfolio, such as more Minute Maid products in the Northeast,” said Troy Ellis, Sr. VP Manufacturing, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Thanks to the leadership of this administration and the business environment created by the state and local governments, our team was able to leverage an opportunity and use economic incentive funds for the expansion of this project, and provide much needed jobs to the community. It’s a win-win partnership for all involved.”

Coca-Cola in Northampton has been producing hot fill products (Powerade, Minute Maid) since 1995. From 2003-2010, the Company invested over $35 million to support the growth of the hot-fill business in Northampton. This investment has supported the production of many new products and packages including: Honest Tea, Fuze, Vitaminwater, Vitaminwater Zero and Gold Peak Tea. The Coca-Cola Northampton facility employees over 260 people.

Coca-Cola Refreshments employs 1350 people in Massachusetts at facilities in Northampton, Needham, Westborough, Pittsfield, Greenfield, Waltham, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England employs another 200 people in Lowell and Cape Cod.

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