Haribo the International candy maker chose Wisconsin as its site for the company’s first U.S. based manufacturing facility.
The company’s project should be completed by 2020 about 45 miles to the north of Chicago in the town of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
The new plant will create a minimum of 400 jobs according to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. On Thursday, Walker announced during a press conference that the plant would cost $242 million.
Walker said that on behalf of all of Wisconsin he thanked Haribo for the decision it made to establish its first manufacturing operation in North America in Kenosha County. He added that he applauded the company for making a commitment to Wisconsin.
Walker made his announcement after the Department of Workforce Development had said that the unemployment rate in the state had fallen to just 3.7% during February. That is the lowest it has been since November 2000.
Walker added that during the last year there have been more people in the state of Wisconsin employed than at any other time in the state’s history.
The COO and Executive Vice President of Haribo in America Rick LaBerge said in a prepared statement that picking the perfect location in the U.S. was a very elaborate process and it took several years for the company to do so.
LaBerge said that many different places had been examined in their search and after years of doing that the company is excited to announce its important decision to choose Wisconsin.
The company’s choice of location provides it with ideal condition to grow more business for Haribo in the United States, said CFOR and Executive Vice President Wes Saber of Haribo America.
Saber added that the company was beginning the construction of one of the largest facilities that was in the confectionery industry.
The company, based in German is known best for its Gold Bear gummies. It said that it produces on average 100 million gummy bears per day in the 16 production plants it has across Europe.
The company has over 7,000 employees worldwide and is the market leader in the licorice and fruit gum industry.
Wisconsin has seen its unemployment rate creep downwards the past couple of years, and if companies continue to add new or create jobs that rate will fall even further.