Governor Doyle Takes Next Steps to Boost Beloit Economy

Breaks Ground on New Kerry Headquarters, Opens New Kettle Foods Manufacturing Facility

BELOIT – Governor Jim Doyle today joined with business and community leaders in Beloit to break ground on Kerry America’s $45 million expansion project and cut the ribbon on Kettle Foods’ new manufacturing facility, projects that are creating a total of 350 new jobs in the area. 

”Wisconsin and Beloit are home to the best businesses and the best workers,” Governor Doyle said.  “Today, we’re taking the steps we need support businesses that will continue to grow and prosper in Wisconsin, and create good-paying jobs for the citizens in this area.”

Kerry America’s new Centre of Excellence will house the company’s technologies and application center, as well as research and development labs, all at one location – providing a site where customers can access all of the company’s work and research.    Governor Doyle announced the project in April, along with $6 million to support Kerry’s growth in Beloit and keep the company from expanding and creating new jobs out of state.  The City of Beloit provided $4.7 million to improve infrastructure in the area as the company grows.

At Kettle Foods, Governor Doyle joined with Tim Fallon, President of Kettle Foods North America, and Larry Arft, Beloit City Manager, to officially open the 73,000 square-foot manufacturing facility that will create 100 new jobs in Beloit.  In 2006, Governor Doyle provided $500,000 help the company construct the new manufacturing facility in Beloit’s Gateway Industrial Park.  The City of Beloit also received a $354,000 Transportation Economic Assistance grant for a road construction project that supported the expansion efforts of Kettle Foods and Staples, Inc. 

The budget Governor Doyle introduced to the Legislature in February doubles funding for the Wisconsin Development Fund – the state’s primary tool for supporting, retaining and attracting businesses and jobs in Wisconsin.   The Wisconsin Development Fund played a crucial role in ensuring Kerry America’s expansion happened in Beloit, keeping the business and good-paying jobs from going out of state, and helped Kettle Foods purchase new equipment, acquire more space and capital, and take on new employees.

Kerry Americas – part of Kerry Group with global headquarters in Ireland – is a world leader in food production, sales and marketing.  The company employees 20,000 people across Europe, North America, South America, New Zealand and Asia, and supplies more than 10,000 food products for consumers in more than 140 countries.   Kerry enhances raw materials for food ingredients and flavors, including cheese, chocolate, granola clusters and a wide array of food seasonings. 

Kettle Foods produces all natural snacks, including potato and tortilla chips with all natural, organic corn, and is known for having a caring commitment to its employees, products and community, with manufacturing sites in Salem, Ore. and Beloit.