Illinois manufacturer to move HQ to Kenosha County

Vonco Products will invest $4 million and create 86 jobs


Vonco Products LLC, a flexible packaging and promotional products manufacturer, will move its headquarters from Lake Villa, Ill. to a new building that will be constructed in the Salem Business Park in the Town of Salem in Kenosha County.

Keith Smith, president of Vonco Products
Keith Smith, president of Vonco Products

The company will be the first manufacturer in the 65-acre business park. Vonco will move to an 80,500-square-foot facility and plans to invest more than $4 million in equipment at the facility and create 86 jobs over the next three years.

Keith Smith, president of Vonco, and an Illinois resident, said he lived in Wisconsin for seven years but had to move back home when his children became Green Bay Packers fans.

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“I’m coming back because manufacturing in Wisconsin is a long term competitive advantage,” Smith said Thursday during a press conference and groundbreaking for the business park.

Smith said for years he wondered “what if” his company could have a new building and new equipment. Working with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA) made those “what ifs” happen, Smith said.

“We’re very excited about what our new location means in terms of delivering solutions for our customers, especially with the launch of our new division focused on liquid-tight packaging,” Smith said.

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Rendering of Vonco Products
Rendering of Vonco Products

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, welcomed Vonco to Wisconsin and thanked his company for making a commitment to the state.

“This is the latest example of smart people from Illinois seeing greener pastures by growing their future in Wisconsin,” Kleefisch said. “The fact that Vonco and other companies have decided to relocate to Wisconsin in the last six years demonstrates that our efforts to create a positive business climate and strengthen our workforce are making a real impact.”

To help attract Vonco to Wisconsin, WEDC has authorized the company to receive up to $500,000 in state tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits received will be contingent upon the number of jobs created during that time.

Vonco will be the anchor tenant of a new business park being developed by KABA. Vonco is leasing the building from KABA and will have an option to purchase the facility. The company is expected to take occupancy in June 2017. The Town of Salem has created a tax increment financing district to support the Salem Business Park development.

“The Town of Salem is thrilled to welcome an advanced manufacturing company like Vonco Products to our community,” said Pat Casey, Salem town administrator. “We’ve made a commitment to the Salem Business Park and feel that it is an attractive location for business. We’re excited to work with our partners at KABA, M7 and WEDC to attract more investment here.”

In addition to the 86 Wisconsin jobs expected to be created by Vonco, an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 96 additional jobs in the region. Those 182 jobs are expected to generate up to $2.2 million in state income tax revenue over a five-year period.

Vonco is the latest company to establish operations in Kenosha County. Since the beginning of 2013, major economic development projects accounting for more than 6,000 new jobs and nearly $1 billion of capital investment have been announced, completed or are underway in the county. Companies that have new facilities in Kenosha County include Amazon, Uline, InSinkErator, Meijer, Niagara Bottling and Gourmet Foods International.

Lake Forest, Ill.-based Colbert Packaging Corp. announced recently its plans to move its flexographic packaging operations to Kenosha, potentially bringing 100 jobs.

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