YORKVILLE, ILL. — Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. will invest approximately $50 million to expand its facility in Yorkville by 145,000 square feet to include production of Skittles. The expansion, assisted by the state of Illinois, will help Wrigley create 75 permanent manufacturing jobs. The Yorkville facility currently employs about 300 people.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is supporting the expansion with $2 million in tax incentives through the Economic Development for a Growing Economy program, which provides companies with a credit against their state income tax liability. The credit is offered to companies as an incentive to build or expand in Illinois when they are considering other states.

“Wrigley has called Illinois home for more than 100 years,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice-president of supply chain for Wrigley North America. “We have a century-long track record of creating jobs, growing the economy and supporting our local communities in the greater Chicago area. With the expansion of our Skittles production in Illinois, we are proud to continue that tradition. In partnership with the state, we will be able to offer high-quality manufacturing jobs and ensure that the Yorkville facility has an opportunity to grow.

“More people worldwide are enjoying Skittles than ever before — something we’re very proud of. The increased demand creates a need for new production systems. We’re thrilled to bring a fresh opportunity to share Wrigley’s growth with our home state of Illinois.”

Wrigley has been in Yorkville since 1995, and the facility makes some of the company’s most well-known brands, including Juicy Fruit, Doublemint and Life Savers. Wrigley will break ground on the expansion in a few weeks and start production by the end of 2015.

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. was acquired by privately-held Mars Inc. in 2008, and this is the first time since the acquisition that U.S. production capacity for Skittles has expanded. Wrigley currently makes Skittles in Waco, Texas.