RICHMOND - A subsidiary of Ohio-based SmithFoods Inc. is planning to expand its operations in Richmond. The Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County says SmithFoods Richmond Inc. will invest $9 million to add a new production line and create nearly 35 jobs by the end of 2022.

The company says the effort will increase the plant’s capacity to produce dairy and non-dairy products with extended shelf life. “This expansion is the result of a successful collaboration with our customers, our partners and our community,” Plant Manager Jose Casiano said in a news release. “It is pivotal for future growth.”

The EDC says the new full-time jobs will pay an average hourly wage of $22.

"SmithFoods Richmond has roots in our community that span nearly one hundred years, providing quality manufacturing and meaningful jobs for generations of hardworking Hoosiers," said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. "Richmond is fortunate to have this continued investment, and we look forward to many more years of mutual success."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered SmithFoods Richmond up to $275,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The EDC of Wayne County is also offering a $93,000 Economic Development Income Tax Grant, which it says will help offset the cost of new equipment, construction, and employee training. The EDIT funding still requires approval from the Wayne County Commissioners.

SmithFoods Richmond Inc. was previously known as Wayne Dairy, which began operation in Richmond in 1921. The company was acquired by SmithFoods in 1994.