ConAgra Foods has started a $15 million expansion at its South Beloit cookie-making plant. The company currently employs 210 people at its 1450 Pate Plaza Dr. facility, and expects to hire more 150 people as part of this expansion.

This article was originally published in Rock River Times

“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.

Recruiting and hiring is expected to last into the middle of 2016.

ConAgra Foods currently produces packaged cookies available on store shelves and in-store bakery cookies. The 100,000-square-foot re-purposing of existing space will allow for the addition of soft-bake-cookie production.

South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl said ConAgra Foods has been “wonderful” to work with.

“The company is 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,” County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen said.

“The relationship between ConAgra Foods and all of the partners in the community has been extremely positive.”

“This commitment to growth in South Beloit reinforces the strength of our location, workforce and quality of life in the Rockford Region,” Rockford Area Economic Development Council President Mike Nicholas said.