SOUTH BELOIT, July 29 — ConAgra Foods plans a $15 million expansion at its cookie-making plant at 1450 Pate Plaza Drive, which will nearly double its employment in the Rockford Region.
ConAgra Foods, which employs 210 people in the South Beloit facility, expects to hire 150 people, with the first group of new team members starting in August. Recruiting and hiring is expected to last through spring/summer 2016, in line with a project completion date of May 2016.
“The team is very excited to see the investment in our facility and to be able to make more cookies in the years to come,” said Tommy Perry, plant manager.
ConAgra Foods currently produces packaged cookies available on store shelves and in-store bakery cookies. The 100,000-square-foot repurposing of existing space will allow for the addition of soft-bake-cookie production.
South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl said ConAgra Foods has been a “wonderful” company to work with – excited about growing here and grateful for the community’s support during the project.
“We are proud that we have a major company that has found our community worthwhile, a place they can get the kind of employees who can help them thrive.”
“The variety and number of manufacturing jobs will provide a terrific boost to Winnebago County for many years,” Board Chairman Scott Christiansen said. “The relationship between ConAgra Foods and all of the partners in the community has been extremely positive.”
The Rockford Area Economic Development Council has been working with ConAgra Foods, public officials and its economic development partners to help navigate approval processes related to the project. “This commitment to growth in South Beloit reinforces the strength of our location, workforce and quality of life in the Rockford Region,” RAEDC President Mike Nicholas said.