Wisconsin successfully woos two packaging firms away from Windy City

The second packaging manufacturer from Illinois has jumped ship to Wisconsin in less than two weeks. Vonco Products, which does flexible packaging for Land O'Lakes, Medline, Jelly Belly and Quest Diagnostics, is moving its entire operation from Lake Villa to Salem, Wisconsin, where it will be at the helm of a new 80-acre new  park being developed by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. All of Vonco's 86 current employees will make the transition to the new 80,500-square-foot site starting in June 2017.

The company expects to invest more than $4 million in equipment at the facility over the next three years, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“The deal just was extremely good,” Vonco President Keith Smith said in a statement.

The move comes after plans to expand at the Lake Villa site were thwarted by wet soil that increased construction costs. Local and regional Wisconsin officials then presented a financial incentive package to get the company to pack up and move to the state.

Depending on how many jobs Vonco  creates, the company could receive up to $500,000 in state tax credits over the next three years.

Just over a week ago, Colbert Packaging (Lake Forest, IL), a maker of cartons and boxes, including for Frango mints, said it was moving 65 jobs from Lake County to Kenosha, citing Wisconsin's "favorable business climate" as one of the reasons. Colbert's headquarters, which has about 145 workers, will still be stationed in Lake Forest.

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