Governor Wolf Announces Expansion of Tram Bar Co-Packing, Creation of 30 New Jobs in Blair County
December 10, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced that Tram Bar Co-Packing LLC, who will manufacture energy bars for Kate’s Real Food of Jackson, Wyoming, will construct a new manufacturing facility in Allegheny Township, Blair County, creating 30 new food manufacturing jobs over three years.
“Southcentral Pennsylvania has become known as a corridor for snack food creation, and it’s exciting to see the industry expanding into Blair County,” Governor Wolf said. “The 30 good-paying jobs created by Tram Bar Co-Packing will not only support families, it will build on the growing momentum of the economy in the Altoona area.”
Initially this facility will produce the full line-up of energy bars from its new location in Allegheny Township. The company also plans to market its services to similar companies who desire to hire a co-packer to produce food products similar to the energy bar produced for Kate’s. To complete the expansion, the company will acquire 1.2 acres at 131 Lamppost Lane, Allegheny Township, and construct a new 20,000 square foot facility. The $5.1 million investment also includes the purchase of new machinery and equipment. The growth will create 30 well-paying jobs within three years.
“The biggest obstacle that we face at Kate’s is our limited production facility located in Victor, ID. We can only produce a limited number of bars at that location annually. With our expansion into the grocery store market through The Touch Agency and other venues we will need to produce millions of bars annually,” said Bruce Thaler, Co-Owner of Kate’s Real Foods. “This move will expand our production and improve the Blair County economy. The Governor’s Action Team has been great to work with on this project.”
Kate’s Real Food produces hand-rolled, organic energy bars in six flavors. The company’s signature energy bar, the Tram Bar, was produced by founder Kate Schade as fuel for days skiing from the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram located near her home in Wyoming. With this new facility in the Altoona area the company will be able to produce millions of additional bars per year to meet the growing need for distribution to large grocery chains, Amazon, specialty stores, ski areas, convenience stores, bicycle shops and for sales from its website.
“This is great news for the First Frontier Blair County. Kate’s Real Food business culture and product aligns really well with our growing outdoor lifestyle which is increasingly defining our mountain town,” said Stephen McKnight, president and CEO of the Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation, which assisted in coordinating the project. “On behalf of our board and directors, I would like to thank Gov. Wolf and his team for their involvement in this project. ABCD Corporation was happy to assist and are looking forward to welcoming Kate’s Real Food team and the new jobs they will create in our community.”
Tram Bar received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $75,000 Pennsylvania First Grant, $90,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon the creation of new jobs, and $11,700 in WEDnetPA funding to support worker training. The company was also encouraged to apply for up to $2,650,000 in low-interest loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.