YORKVILLE – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company will strengthen its presence in its home state by adding production of Skittles, one of the world’s most popular candy brands, to its Yorkville facility. The expansion, assisted by the state of Illinois, will help Wrigley create 75 permanent manufacturing jobs and support hundreds of construction jobs. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“The Wrigley company has been a strong business partner of the state of Illinois for more than a century,” Governor Quinn said. “This major expansion will mean even more jobs and economic growth for a company whose roots run deep in Illinois. The Wrigley Company knows firsthand that Illinois’ skilled workforce is second to none, and there is no better place in the world to grow.”
Wrigley will invest approximately $50 million to expand its Yorkville factory, where it currently employs about 300 people, by 2016. The state’s incentives package was a major factor in the company’s decision to expand in Yorkville. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is supporting the expansion with $2 million in tax incentives through the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, which provides companies with a credit against their state income tax liability. The credit is offered to companies as an incentive to build or expand in Illinois when they are considering other states.
“Wrigley has called Illinois home for more than 100 years,” Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice president of supply chain for Wrigley North America, said. “We have a century-long track record of creating jobs, growing the economy and supporting our local communities in the greater Chicago area. With the expansion of our Skittles production in Illinois, we are proud to continue that tradition. In partnership with the state, we will be able to offer high-quality manufacturing jobs and ensure that the Yorkville facility has an opportunity to grow.”
“More people worldwide are enjoying Skittles than ever before – something we’re very proud of,” Fitzpatrick said. “The increased demand creates a need for new production systems. We’re thrilled to bring a fresh opportunity to share Wrigley’s growth with our home state of Illinois.”
DCEO will also invest $250,000 in construction expenses and $37,500 in job training to assist in the expansion. The company plans to expand its Yorkville plant by 145,000 square feet.
“For Wrigley, the decision to expand in Illinois was clear,” DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. “Nowhere else offers the skilled workforce, the logistical advantages and the quality of life. Putting down more roots here makes sense for Wrigley’s operations and for employee recruitment.”
“Yorkville has been the proud home of the Wrigley manufacturing facility since 1995 and we are very excited about the expansion of the facility to accommodate the worldwide growth of Skittles,” Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski said. “Wrigley's confidence in Yorkville reaffirms that Yorkville continues to be a great choice for manufacturing and industry with a strong local workforce. We look forward to our continued partnership as Yorkville and Wrigley continue to grow together.”
Wrigley’s Yorkville plant has been a strong contributor to the community for more than 20 years, and manufactures some of the company’s most well-known brands including Juicy Fruit, Doublemint and Life Savers. Wrigley will break ground on the expansion in a few weeks and start production by the end of 2015.
For more information on why Illinois is the right place for business, visit illinois.gov/dceo.
Wrigley is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies and lollipops. Wrigley’s world-famous brands – including Extra®, Orbit®, Doublemint®, and 5™ chewing gums, as well as confectionery brands Skittles®, Starburst®, Altoids® and Life Savers® – create simple pleasures for consumers every day. With operations across 50 countries and distribution in more than 180 countries, Wrigley’s brands bring smiles to faces around the globe. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, employs approximately 17,000 associates globally, and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience and more than 72,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.