Lehigh Valley

Casey urges Ocean Spray to build local bottling plant

Senator meets with company, offers help in clearing hurdles

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., went public Tuesday with his efforts to bring Ocean Spray to Pennsylvania.

Casey released a letter he sent to the company's CEO, Randy Papadellis, urging the company to build a bottling and processing facility on 44 acres of land it is reportedly eying in Upper Macungie Twp., Lehigh Co.

The letter, Casey said, is the culmination of months of behind the scenes work to bring Ocean Spray to the region.

"Ocean Spray can look far and wide, but they'll find that some of the country's best workers are located in the Lehigh Valley," said Casey.

Ocean Spray announced plans in May to close its plant in Bordentown, N.J. and relocate the operations to Pennsylvania in 2013, with the Lehigh Valley being a possible destination.

Since then, Casey said he has met with company executives and urged them to make the move, offering to help in any way he can.

The facility would have the potential to create 165 jobs and pump $130 million into the region's economy, Casey said.

Ocean Spray officials have not yet commented on Casey's letter.

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