offers us great people and location, a feeling of community, an
excellent manufacturing base and a critical transportation hub.”
Wythe County an important hub for its growing business needs, Gatorade
officially opened its Blue Ridge Gatorade Plant in Wytheville's
Progress Park in November 2006.
officials said the location of the company's eighth U.S. plant near
the intersection of I-81 and I-77 “provides an important geographic
hub to our growing distribution needs and allows us to optimally
distribute Gatorade and Propel to our customers in the Mid-Atlantic
and Ohio Valley regions.”
Wytheville plant would take the burden off the company's nearest
facilities in northeastern Pennsylvania and in Atlanta.
production lines manufacture Gatorade Thirst Quencher and Propel
Fitness Water. The facility employs more than 200.
on 134 acres at 316 Gator Lane in Progress Park, the plant is just
under a million square feet and has the ability to expand to 1.8
million square feet and eight production lines. It represents a
$148 million investment by PepsiCo, Gatorade's parent company.
Wytheville Gatorade plant is designed to achieve LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification “and provide
significant impact to our natural environment, economy and health
and productivity of our employees,” said Gatorade. The Wytheville
plant will be one of the largest certified food and beverage manufacturing
facilities in the world.
officals said, “Many factors are weighed in the analysis of potential
sites, including transportation and distribution costs. The primary
deciding factor in locating the facility in Wytheville was the geographic
location and the subsequent savings of getting product to the market
area this facility will serve.”
addition to the great location, outstanding people, the feeling
of community and the tremendous commitment and support from local
and state officials, Gatorade officials also praised the Virginia
Employment Commission and Wytheville Community College for their
help in developing the workforce for the plant. The VEC helped process
more than 5,000 applications for employment at the new plant, and
the community college provided testing and interviewing services
and developed an operator curriculum for all line technicians.
with Amcor PET Packaging, leading supplier of hot-fillable plastic
bottles to the beverage industry, located in a bottle manufacturing
facility next door in Progress Park, Gatorade said it is a wonderful
opportunity for both the company and Wythe County .