010616-business-pix-1Sargento Foods Inc. Hiring

Sargento Foods Inc. expects to fill 165 new positions this year, in addition to filling about 130 positions due to turnover. CEO Louie Gentineannounced the growth at an event in Sheboygan County focusing on new efforts the county’s economic development group is taking to help companies fill job openings. Many of those positions will open up after employees retire after more than 30 years with the company, said spokeswoman Portia Young.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the last five years,” Young said. “We’re one of the top national brands and we’re following our plan for growth.”

The new positions will include 120 new manufacturing jobs. Sargento currently has expansion projects underway at three of its Wisconsin facilities, which will help accommodate some of the new employees. There are no current plans for expansion at the Plymouth headquarters, but in 2015 Sargento announced expansions at the Kiel, Elkhart Lake and Hilbert locations. Elkhart Lake was the company’s original headquarters in the 1950s, and it now serves as the technical center for engineering, research and development.

Some of those expansions have room to accommodate several hundred additional employees over the next five years, in line with the company’s strategic planning. Sargento currently employs 1,800, and has net sales of more than $1 billion.