WCC to Provide Training to New Snack Manufacturer

September 15, 2022

SunTree Snack Foods is the latest manufacturing company to call Wayne County home.

With an investment of $10.1 million, the company will establish its East Coast manufacturing site in Goldsboro and create 94 new jobs.

Wayne Community College will have a role in training those employees.

“The college will work closely with company representatives to help develop and implement customized training that meets the needs of their industry and employees. A budget of up to $112,200 has been allocated to assist the company,” said WCC President Patty Pfeiffer.

“We are looking forward to supporting SunTree as it establishes itself and prospers in our community and we eagerly anticipate more opportunities to partner in the economic growth of Wayne County,” Pfeiffer said.

“SunTree Snacks has made a great decision to establish an East Coast headquarters in Wayne County,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “Our quality of life, affordability, and manufacturing workforce continues to attract businesses from across the globe.”

SunTree has an industry-leading reputation for innovation and commercializing new on-trend snack nuts, trail mix, and other better-for-you products for national and regional retailers, with a focus on its customers’ private labels and store brands. SunTree’s new facility at 210 Dixie Trail in Goldsboro will increase its manufacturing capacity and its national footprint, allowing it to deliver additional products and serve new customers while creating new jobs in the Goldsboro area.

“We are so pleased to be working with Governor Cooper and the State of North Carolina to establish this new facility in Goldsboro and offer high-quality jobs to so many talented and capable North Carolinians,” said Jeff Vogel, CEO of SunTree Snack Foods. “The addition of this East Coast facility will allow us to efficiently serve the eastern U.S. distribution centers for national and regional retailers, and the expanded capacity will reduce lead times for our customers and minimize the ecological impact of long-haul shipping. We look forward to continuing our company’s growth and partnership with the state as we expand our market share in this geographic area.”

“The 94 new jobs and the capital investment mean a lot to our communities as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” said Mark Pope, senior vice president of the NC GTP Economic Development Region. “I cannot thank our team from EDPNC, NC Southeast, Duke Energy, Wayne County, City of Goldsboro, and Wayne Community College for the hard work it takes to put together a project like this. Our state and local leaders are supportive of the mission of WCDA and the NC GTP Economic Development Region. Thanks to Jeff Vogel and Lonny Mallach for believing in Wayne County and eastern NC as a home for their expansion.”

“North Carolina’s $90 billion agricultural economy is deeply rooted in our bountiful food processing industry and access to more than 170 million customers,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “When companies are ready to expand, they want to operate in places where they are centrally located and have access to a pipeline of skilled talent.”

The new positions include machine operators, office personnel, production staff, technicians, and managers. While the wages will vary for each position, the average annual salary for the new positions is $50,742, which exceeds Wayne County’s overall average annual wage of $40,996. The new jobs have the potential to create an annual payroll impact of more than $4.7 million.

A performance-based grant of $250,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help with SunTree’s expansion to North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require matching participation from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

“We are delighted to welcome SunTree Snacks to our business community,” said N.C. Senator Jim Perry. “These new jobs and investment will make a great positive impact on the livelihood of our citizens.”

“This is more exciting news for Wayne County,” said N.C. Representative Raymond Smith. “We appreciate all the officials and economic development leaders that worked diligently to bring this project to Goldsboro.”

WCC joined the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina as key partners in the project with the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region, Wayne County, Wayne County Development Alliance, North Carolina’s Southeast, City of Goldsboro and Duke Energy.

About SunTree Snack Foods
SunTree Snack Foods LLC is one of the leading manufacturer and marketer of value-added dried fruit and nut products. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company provides innovative products and formulations sold via retail, grocery, vending services and membership warehouses throughout North America. Learn more about the company at its website.

About WCC
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 10,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 165 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.