Haribo starts hiring for 400 jobs in Pleasant Prairie plant that opens in a year

Haribo of America over the next year will look to fill almost 400 jobs for its candy making plant in Pleasant Prairie — the company’s first in the U.S. — and recognizes it is in a competitive hiring market.

That facility will manufacture Haribo’s Gold Bear gummi candies for distribution across the country. “Interest” fairs will start in early 2022 with partners including Gateway Technical College for prospective job applicants and students to learn about the future openings, said Rick LaBerge, CEO at Haribo of America.

Haribo also been active with the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, which beyond supporting its mission, helps build awareness of the company among residents and potential employees.

“It’s a very competitive market, and there are a lot of options for good associates to go find jobs,” LaBerge said. “Obviously, we’re going to pay competitive wages, but we also want people to join us because they see the value and rewards of working for a family company.”

Hiring has begun already for senior management of the new facility that is under construction west of Interstate 94. It is on schedule to start test production in the fourth quarter of 2022, and by the second quarter of 2023 will start shipping candy for sale in the U.S., LaBerge said.

Its future job openings will include everything in the production process ranging from engineers to forklift drivers.

Haribo is diving into an active Kenosha County job market where companies such as Uline Inc. this summer offered $8,000 hiring bonuses, for example. With 16 locations and about 7,000 employees worldwide, Haribo is no stranger to finding workers. Some of the strategies it uses in its home country of Germany are also being deployed in Wisconsin.

“We really value long-term relationships, that’s with our suppliers but more importantly, that’s with our associates,” LaBerge said. “We have great examples of associates who have long, long tenure with the company. We want to find people who want to grow a career with us.”

Haribo is working with the local schools, including Gateway, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Carthage College, to develop programs to give students skills needed for jobs in the Haribo plant, LaBerge said.

Read more at the Milwaukee Business Journal.

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