Last updated on February 15th, 2023 at 03:37 pm
Milwaukee-based Palermo Villa Inc., a frozen pizza manufacturer, is planning an expansion into a Jefferson facility that will create more than 200 jobs and increase production capacity.
The company’s Jefferson facility at 1015 Industrial Ave. was previously a Tyson Foods processing plant. The plant, which operated as LD Foods Inc., was closed in 2021. The closure of that plant resulted in the elimination of 62 jobs.
As part of its expansion, Palermo’s will be adding new manufacturing equipment at the Jefferson facility, which will allow the company to add at least two more pizza topping lines. The new facility is expected to be complete this summer and will produce more than 50 million frozen pizzas a year.
Palermo’s employs over 1,000 people company-wide, almost all of which are currently based in Milwaukee. The expansion includes the addition of 180 jobs in Jefferson, with the remaining 20 positions being located at the company’s Milwaukee headquarters at 3301 W. Canal St.
“Over the past three years, we’ve added over 400 jobs through expansions at our headquarters in Milwaukee. In 2020, we installed a rising crust bakery line and a fourth topping production line that allowed us to hire more employees and increase capacity,” said Giacomo Fallucca, chief executive officer and chairman of the board at Palermo’s. “The Jefferson site will allow us to expand and increase capacity again. While we considered expansion plans in multiple geographic locations, timing and availability of space led us to decide to expand in Jefferson. Jefferson is a great site as it allows us to expand our Wisconsin roots and continue to provide great career opportunities in our home state.”
Falluca said as the company adds on the estimated 200 jobs, it will use a staggered-start training program for the new positions that will continue to build capacity through 2023 and 2024. The new positions will include management positions, production associates, quality maintenance workers, warehouse roles and sanitation positions.
“Palermo’s expansion is a fantastic example of a success achieved by stakeholders working together to benefit Greater Jefferson County,” said Deb Reinbold, president of Thrive Economic Development. “The jobs created by this expansion will support local workers and their families. Our team is grateful to assist with this project and congratulates Palermo’s on its success.”