by Dan Rafter
It’s a winning combination for Wisconsin — candy and jobs.
Candymaker Haribo, based in Germany, plans to build a manufacturing plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. In making this announcement, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said that the new facility will generate as many as 400 jobs.
The $242 million plant will be 500,000 square feet. But don’t expect Pleasant Prairie to be churning out Haribo’s iconic GoldBear gummi candies just yet. Haribo estimates that construction on the new plant won’t be complete until 2020.
“Haribo has already been in the process of selecting a location for a first manufacturing facility in the USA for several years. In an elaborate process, we have examined many different sites. We are very excited to announce this important decision today,” said Rick LaBerge, chief operating officer of Haribo of America Inc., in a written statement.
The new facility will be located in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park, located west of Interstate-94 and between highways 165 and 50. Construction on the new facility is scheduled to start in 2018.
The reason for the long start-up period for construction? Pleasant Prairie is still finalizing a deal to buy 458 acres of land for the facility from Illinois’ Abbott Labs. This purchase is expected to cost Pleasant Prairie $37.5 million.
“The state’s business-friendly climate and strong fiscal management, along with our dedicated workforce and reliable infrastructure, are among the many reasons Haribo decided Wisconsin was the right choice for this facility,” Gov. Walker said.