BY STEFANO ESPOSITO
The Wrigley Company plans to invest $50 million to expand its Yorkville plant — creating 75 permanent jobs — as it increases production of its popular Skittles candies, Gov. Pat Quinn’s office announced Wednesday.
The expansion, expected by 2016, was made possible in part by $2 million in state tax incentives, Quinn’s office said.
“The Wrigley company has been a strong business partner of the state of Illinois for more than a century,” Quinn said in a statement. “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.”
The Yorkville plant currently employs 300 workers, Quinn’s office said.
“Wrigley has called Illinois home for more than 100 years,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice president of supply chain for Wrigley North America. “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.”
Skittles was introduced in the U.S. in 1979 and originally came with orange, lemon, lime, grape and strawberry pieces. Production was moved to the U.S. in 1982. Read more about Skittles history and product changes.