Support from WEDC helps secure company’s growth in Wisconsin

Madison, Wis. – Johnsonville and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today announced that the company is expanding its global corporate headquarters in Sheboygan Falls. Construction on the 49,000-square-foot addition, which will feature a member development center, additional workstations and an expanded fitness center, is already underway and expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“This project will provide much-needed capacity to support the tremendous growth we’ve experienced over the last 10 years,” said Ralph Stayer, owner and chairman of Johnsonville. “Thanks to the state’s favorable business climate, we can keep growing right here in Sheboygan County.”

The project calls for Johnsonville to significantly expand its investment in engineering, research and development, and marketing as the company prepares for additional growth in its domestic, international and foodservice businesses.

“As someone who is a big fan of Johnsonville’s products, I congratulate this iconic company on its expansion plans and I applaud Johnsonville for its commitment to continue to grow in Wisconsin,” said Governor Scott Walker. “As much as we are happy to welcome new businesses to Wisconsin, it’s equally important that the state provides longtime Wisconsin companies like Johnsonville with the necessary support and a pro-business climate to ensure they continue to grow and prosper here.”

WEDC is supporting the expansion by awarding Johnsonville up to $10 million in state income tax credits over the next five years. WEDC awarded tax credits to Johnsonville for previous expansions at Johnsonville’s Sheboygan Falls facilities in 2012 and 2015. Since that first award, the company’s employment in Sheboygan Falls has grown from about 700 to more than 1,200.

“With more than 1,200 employees in Wisconsin, securing Johnsonville’s commitment to grow here is important for the region and entire state,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “In addition to its own employees, Johnsonville’s vendors throughout the state directly and indirectly support more than 1,500 jobs statewide.”

Johnsonville also positively impacts the state economy by sourcing products from more than 500 Wisconsin farmers, producers and companies.

“The company’s enthusiastic support of its members and community is why we named them our 2016 Economic Driver of the Year,” said Dane Checolinski, director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation. “The collaborative spirit exhibited by Johnsonville allows for accelerated job growth as Sheboygan County now boasts a 3 percent unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the state, and Johnsonville is creating even more job opportunities.”

The company can earn the state tax credits based upon the number of jobs created, the amount of capital investment it makes, the amount it spends on purchasing equipment, goods and services from Wisconsin companies, and the amount to be spent on employee training through 2021.

The company plans to add nearly 100 new jobs over the next five years.


About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.

About Johnsonville

Johnsonville was founded in 1945 by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer. The company was started as a small butcher shop, named after the Stayers’ Wisconsin hometown. In 1968, the company was incorporated and since then, under the leadership of Ralph C. Stayer, has expanded to become the No. 1 national sausage brand. Its products, which include bratwurst, Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, meatballs, and now chicken, are sold in all 50 states and 40 countries. The company operates six manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas. To learn about career opportunities at Johnsonville, visit