Vonco Products LLC, whose customers include Land O'Lakes, Medline and Quest Diagnostics, is moving its entire operation from Lake Villa, Ill., some 10 miles north to Salem, Wis., in Kenosha County, where it will anchor a new business park being developed by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.
Vonco's 86 current employees will head to the new 80,500-square-foot facility starting in June.
State and local officials in Wisconsin put together a $1 million incentive package, half composed of state tax credits and half a forgivable loan, contingent upon Vonco meeting employment and capital investment targets. But the Kenosha business alliance furnished the key part of the arrangement: It agreed to build the company a new $6.8 million facility and lease it to Vonco at cost.
“The deal just was extremely good,” said Vonco President Keith Smith.
Vonco makes flexible packaging like bags, pouches and sleeves, with customers concentrated in the medical and food industries. The company's sleeves encase Libman brooms. Smith declined to give the company's sales. It also makes ThunderStix, an inflatable noisemaker familiar at sporting events.
Smith, who bought the 61-year-old company in December 2012, said Vonco first looked to expand in Lake Villa but was stymied by wet soil that drove up construction costs at its current site. He wanted to stay close to his current location to keep his skilled workforce. He looked in McHenry and Lake counties but settled on Kenosha County.
A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity was not immediately available for comment.