Kenosha County is one of the hottest locations in the region when it comes to new corporate investment. Read here about some of the companies that have made the strategic decision to invest in Kenosha County.
Since 2013, major economic development wins in Kenosha County have accounted for: nearly 8,000 jobs, more than $1.2 billion in capital investment, and approximately 10 million square feet of development. These projects are coming from a diverse set of industries, from company headquarters to food processing to advanced manufacturing and logistics.
Read about companies with names you know – such as Haribo, Amazon, Uline, InSinkErator and Niagara Bottling – doing their research and making the decision to locate their new facility, corporate headquarters, or strategic expansion right here in the heart of the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor.
Founded in 1920 and based in Bonn, Germany, HARIBO is the world market leader in the fruit gum and licorice segment, with 100 million Gold-Bears alone produced daily worldwide. HARIBO, a family-owned company now operated by the third generation, has 16 production sites throughout Europe and employs nearly 7,000 people worldwide.
HARIBO has selected property in the Village of Pleasant Prairie for the site of its first manufacturing facility in North America. The HARIBO project, which is expected to be completed in 2020, is one of the largest investments of new operations by an overseas company in Wisconsin history. The new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to be approximately 500,000 square feet.
The new development by HARIBO is expected to be an approximately $242 investment and bring 400 jobs to Kenosha County.
HARIBO’s new operations in Pleasant Prairie will be one of the largest confectionary production facilities in the nation.
“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.”
– Hans Riegel, Owner, HARIBO
In 1980, after recognizing a need for a local shipping supply distributor, Liz and Dick Uihlein founded Uline in their basement. More than three decades later, Uline is in a high-growth mode. It is the leading distributor of over 30,000 different shipping, industrial and packing materials with operations in more than ten cities and more than 4,000 employees across North America.
Uline moved its corporate headquarters and significant operations to Pleasant Prairie in 2009, and has since doubled its footprint – adding buildings, capital investment, and jobs.
In 2009, Uline built a 274,000 square foot corporate campus and adjacent one million square foot distribution center in Pleasant Prairie. They had previously been headquartered in Waukegan, IL. Just five years later, the thriving company announced several expansion plans which added up to more than 2.25 million square feet of new development.
Currently under construction are a new 200,000 square foot office building, which will double the size of their corporate campus, and an additional one million square foot distribution center. A newly constructed convention center at its corporate campus was recently completed.
Uline is also relocating its Midwest Distribution Operations from Waukegan to Kenosha. They have purchased 200 acres in western Kenosha on which a 60,000 square foot office building and adjacent one million square foot distribution center are currently under construction.
Uline expects that their most recent expansion plans in total will be a $100 million investment which will create 500 new jobs. Uline is now one of Kenosha County’s largest employers with a workforce of more than 2,500 here.
“We are lucky to have a State that supports the spirit of entrepreneurship that our family and company thrive on. Additionally, we have been able to find the talent to continue to grow our company.”
– Liz Uihlein, President, Uline
Founded in 1963 by Ken Hawkins, Kenall Manufacturing produces and supports high quality and durable lighting solutions for the most challenging environments.
Kenall relocated its corporate headquarters and advanced manufacturing facility to Kenosha County from Gurnee, IL in 2015. Kenall constructed a 354,000 SF building in the Business Park of Kenosha.
Kenall Manufacturing selected Kenosha County after a highly competitive search for a site throughout the Greater Chicago Area.
The speed at which this project was built is impressive. Kenall “officially” kicked off construction with ground breaking ceremony on May 23, 2014, though some grading and site work had begun a few weeks prior. Construction of the facility was completed in the Fall of 2014 and the majority of Kenall’s professional staff made the move to the new facility by the end of November. By year end 2014, Kenall was in full production at the new facility.
In 2017, Kenall Manufacturing donated $75,000 to the Gateway Promise initiative, which ensures that every student that qualifies can attend Gateway, regardless of financial ability.
“Wisconsin and the Kenosha Area were very business-oriented and extremely responsive in all respects. We had a few locations to choose between, including some in Northern Illinois, but ultimately decided on Kenosha.”
– Randy Hernandez, Executive Vice President, Operations, Kenall Manufacturing
Amazon is a Fortune 50 online retailer headquartered in Seattle. It is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world and the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization.
After an extensive and competitive site selection process, Amazon chose to site a 1,000,000 square foot fulfillment center and 500,000 square foot sortation center on approximately 160 acres in the City of Kenosha. The development was a $200+ million dollar investment.
A development-ready site, proximity to I-94, location within region, and competitive package of assistance drove their location decision.
Originally employing 1,500 people between both sites, Amazon has now grown its employment to more than 3,000.
“We appreciate the state and local elected leaders who have supported Amazon coming to Wisconsin and we look forward to bringing jobs and investment to the state.”
– Mike Roth, Vice President of North America Operations
Amazon partnered with Gateway Technical College to establish an on-site facility to provide career training through its new Career Choice Program.
Amazon has grown its employment to more than 3,000.
Niagara Bottling, LLC
Family owned and operated since 1963, Niagara Bottling is the largest private-label bottled water supplier in the U.S. The Ontario, Calif.-headquartered company got its start producing water in five-gallon glass bottles for commercial clients and in the early 1990s expanded operations to single-serve bottles.
After a multi-state search, Niagara selected Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County for the site of its 19th processing plant. They officially opened the 377,472 square foot high tech manufacturing plant in April. Niagara’s new facility is it’s fastest and most highly automated. It features laser-guided vehicles that run most warehouse operations and machines that can produce 5.5 million bottles in a 24-hour period. The plant runs two production lines, packaging and distributing private label water for its customers as well as the Niagara label.
The new facility built by Niagara was a $75 million investment and brought 88 jobs to Kenosha County.
Niagara Bottling went from a shovel-ready site to rolling its first bottle off the line in just 233 days. President and CEO Andy Peykoff II praised the process as well as the new facility’s strategic location and the responsiveness of the community at its recent grand opening event (pictured right). Plant Director Paul Schrock talked about the incredible workforce he has been able to find in the area, saying he was very pleased with both the quantity and quality of candidates.
Niagara Bottling went from a shovel-ready site to rolling its first bottle off the line in just 233 days.
“We are thrilled to expand into Kenosha County. This location is centrally located between Milwaukee and Chicago and is ideal to help us better serve our customers.”
– Derieth Sutton, Economic Development & Government Relations Manager, Niagara Bottling
Headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, InSinkErator is the world’s largest manufacturer of food waste disposers and instant hot water dispensers for home and commercial use. Founded in 1927, InSinkErator is now a business unit of Emerson (NYSE:EMR).
In 2015, InSinkErator leased a 160,000-square-foot office building in the Business Park of Kenosha, investing in new equipment to make the plant highly automated. It also made renovations at its existing facility in Racine.
InSinkErator invested approximately $43.7 million in new equipment and brought 200 jobs to Kenosha County.
A nearly move-in ready 160,000-square-foot industrial facility in the Business Park of Kenosha and financial support from the State of Wisconsin/WEDC, City of Kenosha, and the Kenosha County High Impact Fund helped secure this major regional win for Southeast Wisconsin.
InSinkErator invested $43.7 million in new equipment
Good Foods Group
Good Foods Group is a manufacturer of all natural food products including guacamole, dips, salads and cold pressed juices.
After growing out of its space in Chicago, Good Foods searched the region for a location that would accommodate their projected growth. They chose a 57,000 square foot building in the Village of Pleasant Prairie’s LakeView Corporate Park as the site of its new advanced food processing facility and headquarters. They invested approximately $5 million and immediately employed 50 people.
Good Foods Group has thrived since relocating to Kenosha County.
Since relocating to Kenosha County, Good Foods has continued its growth trajectory. The company has expanded its product offerings, added almost 200 employees, nearly doubled their production space with a 40,000 square foot addition and invested in numerous pieces of equipment.
Good Foods is an early adopter of High Pressure Processing (HPP), an innovative cold pasteurization technique, investing heavily in the processing equipment. HPP is a nonthermal technique in which the food in its final flexible packaging is subjected to high levels of hydrostatic pressure, inactivating its microorganisms, extending the shelf life and guaranteeing the food safety of the product.
“I can’t imagine a better place to be situated for continued growth than here in Southeast Wisconsin.”
– Kurt Penn, CEO, Good Foods Group