Lancaster extract company expansion to create 83 new jobs

Cris Collingwood//May 22, 2023

Lancaster extract company expansion to create 83 new jobs

Cris Collingwood//May 22, 2023

Lancaster-based Shank’s Extracts LLC will expand operations at its East Hempfield Township headquarters, creating at least 83 new jobs and retaining 234 statewide jobs in the next three years. 

Gov. Josh Shapiro said the 124-year-old specialty ingredient, flavors and botanical extracts company, received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $332,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $166,000 workforce development grant to train workers. 

Gov. Josh Shapiro

As part of its expansion, Shank’s Extracts’ facility will support additional liquid and dry manufacturing, packaging, and refrigerated storage. This project will also include installation of other manufacturing capabilities at the facility, Shapiro’s office said.  

“Having a homegrown company like Shank’s Extracts choose to expand in Pennsylvania sends a clear message that we are open for business and that we are working towards becoming a leader in innovation, job creation, and economic development,” Shapiro said.  

“We’re aggressively competing with other states and countries to attract new businesses and keep growing Pennsylvania-based companies here, and I am focused on making the investments that will continue helping companies like Shank’s expand and bring more investments and jobs to Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.  

Shank’s Extracts, a top producer of vanilla extract in the United States, has been headquartered in Lancaster County since its creation in 1899 and makes and distributes more than 2,400 products, including flavors, emulsions, botanical extracts, colors, and sauces for retail and food industry customers globally.  

Universal Corporation, a global business-to-business agri-products supplier to consumer product manufacturers, purchased Shank’s Extracts in October 2021.  

 “The expansion of our facilities at Shank’s Extracts will enable us to enhance and expand the product offerings of our plant-based ingredients platform,” said George C. Freeman, III, chairman, president, and CEO of Universal Corporation. “Through this platform, we provide a variety of value-added manufacturing processes to produce high-quality, specialty vegetable-and fruit-based ingredients, and we appreciate the support and partnership of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in this endeavor.” 

DCED Secretary Rick Siger said Shank’s Extracts has a long and impressive history in Lancaster County, and DCED is proud to have worked with the company to ensure they continue to grow right here in Pennsylvania 

“The commonwealth has a lot to offer to food manufacturers, from our strategic location, to our abundant natural resources, to our dedicated and skilled workforce,” Siger said. “Gov. Shapiro’s budget includes a proposed $12 million increase for the Pennsylvania First Program, which will help us to invest in more expansion projects like this one.” 

Pennsylvania’s agribusiness, food, and beverage production industry is rapidly growing across the state and supported 140,000 jobs and $38 billion in output in 2021, according to Shapiro’s office.  

“When businesses come to our communities, our residents benefit from more job opportunities and increased local economic activity across numerous sectors, as the indirect impact of these investments on other industries is immeasurable,” said Sen. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster County. I’m grateful for the policy work we’ve been able to accomplish to send a strong message that our state is competitive and prepared to support businesses, new and old, that provide a better quality of life for Pennsylvania residents.” 

John Biemiller, director of Business Retention & Expansion for the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County agreed. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the expansion of Shank’s Extracts, a company with long and deep roots in Lancaster County. This growth underscores the high quality of their products and their commitment to invest in their people, their equipment and their community,” he said.   

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team.