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FREEPORT — The Freeport-area economy has certainly taken its hits. But, the news is not all negative. There are definite signs of life.
The new Tri-Star Metals facility on Lamm Road is in full swing. It recently increased its workforce from 35 to 83 employees. That is a gain of almost 50 jobs. By the way, this facility is located in a city TIF district and received TIF assistance.
Years ago, the city helped bring Vitner Foods to town under Mayor Dick Weis. Vitner was recently acquired by Snak King. Snak King decided to do a major expansion in Freeport last year with state assistance. Their new tortilla chip line and distribution warehouse are now operational with an increase in employment from 285 to 350 workers. That is an additional 65 jobs.
Tri-Star and Snak King do not cover the gap created by large manufacturing job losses. But slowly, small manufacturers and local businesses are adding jobs and expanding.
There is more to come. Read More