The Maryland Department of Commerce has received a 2016 CiCi (Corporate Investment and Community Impact) Award on behalf of the Pinnacle Foods project in Hagerstown. The award is presented by Trade & Industry Development magazine and honors commitment to economic development including corporate investment and community impact across the country.
A leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products in the U.S., Pinnacle Foods announced in September 2015 the opening of a manufacturing facility at the former Unilever ice cream plant – a site that has struggled to recover since the economic downturn. Pinnacle Foods acquired the property in order to expand operations to the East Coast where it will produce its gardein brand of plant-based protein.
Pinnacle Foods was among 15 projects chosen for a Community Impact award. The Fortune 1000 company anticipates creating up to 125 full-time jobs by December 2018, with plans to hire 200 employees over the next five years, making it one of the larger private-sector employers in the county.
"We are proud to receive this award, which reinforces that we are continuing to move Maryland in the right direction by working with our local partners to attract world-class companies like Pinnacle Foods," said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. "Projects like this are significant, not only for the job creation that comes with opening a facility like this, but the transformational impact it will have on the Hagerstown community."
The CiCi Awards commemorate the largest capital investments for development or expansion announced within a designated year, while also recognizing projects for the positive impact they will have on a community, regardless of the amount of money invested. Among the criteria considered for recognition in the community impact category include the number of jobs created, the region's average level of income, and any area plant closings or openings.