Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is increasing production at its Yorkville, Illinois, facility. The Yorkville location will now make Skittles in addition to the production in Waco, Texas, and facilities outside of the U.S. This is the first time since Wrigley was purchased by Mars Inc. in 2008 that production of Skittles has expanded in the U.S., according to the Chicago Tribune.
Wrigley is investing $50 million to increase the size of the building in Yorkville, Illinois, by 145,000 square feet, according to the governor's statement. The expansion should be finished by 2016. The company is receiving a tax incentive worth $2 million through the Economic Development for a Growing Economy program. It will also receive a $250,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to go toward construction costs and a $37,500 grant for job training expenses.
Sales of Skittles have continued to grow over the past five years, the Chicago Tribune reported. Skittles also recently became an official sponsor of the National Football League.
"More people worldwide are enjoying Skittles than ever before – something we're very proud of," Vice President of Wrigley's North American supply chain Kevin 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."
Wrigley current employs 300 workers at the Yorkville plant, where Juicy Fruit gum, Doublemint gum and Life Savers are made. The additional production of Skittles will add 75 full-time workers to the facility.
Large companies like Wrigley should work with Chicago recruiters. A local recruiter can bridge the manufacturing skills gap and help business find the most qualified workers for their new positions.