Hormel Expansion

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America's growing taste for bacon is beefing up the stateline economy. Rochelle's largest employer, Hormel Foods, will expand its facility in the city early next year adding more than 100 jobs to our economy.

"As it all turned out, the governor put together a good package, we put together a good package to keep the jobs in Rochelle and the region," said Rochelle Mayor Chet Olson.

Rochelle and Illinois went head to head with Iowa competing for the jobs.

"We like food. It's steady and it can't be done in China and it's manufacturing which we're losing manufacturing in this region," said Rochelle's Economic Director Ken Wise.

The state awarded Hormel $1.2 million in funding to help facilitate the expansion, but Rochelle leaders say their new transportation hub also played a role in the food company's decision.

"I'm sure it has a bearing on how they ship their product and where they ship it to. Northern Illinois has the facility to do that and I'm sure it's a big plus," said Mayor Olson.

Hormel spokesperson Julie Craven says the company plans to break ground on the expansion next month. She says location and the state incentive package led Hormel to expand in Rochelle. Currently the company employees 750 people at that plant.