WK Kellogg Co expansion in Battle Creek will retain 170, create 43 high-wage jobs, boost state’s agribusiness industry

MEDC – December 12, 2023 – WK Kellogg Co was established in 2023 as a standalone company, resulting from the separation of the former Kellogg Company into two separate entities, Kellanova and WK Kellogg Co. WK Kellogg Co is focused on its founder’s original business – ready-to-eat cereal. The company employs approximately 750 employees – nearly one-third of its total North America employee base – in Michigan and will continue to be headquartered in Battle Creek, where it has spent the past 117 years as Kellogg Company.

In 2021, Kellogg Company announced that by the end of 2023, it would move production of some of its Battle Creek cereal plant volume to its cereal production facility in Ontario, CA. This project would have idled two of the three lines currently operating in Battle Creek.

Recently, WK Kellogg Co leaders decided to retain that volume at its Battle Creek facility, where the company will drive efficiency through investment in more modern technology, as well as train employees in high performing work systems, making them more competitive in their manufacturing network. These changes will result in the retention of approximately 170 jobs in Battle Creek and – along with the partnership and support of the state and city of Battle Creek – help to position the plant for future investment and potential growth.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of at least $44 million and create at least 43 new high-paying jobs – in addition to the 170 roles being retained – with the support of a $5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a 15-year MSF Designated Renaissance Zone in support of the project.

“We are pleased to maintain cereal production in Battle Creek, the Michigan community where it all began more than a century ago and where it begins again with WK Kellogg Co,” said WK Kellogg Co Chairman and CEO Gary Pilnick. “We are proud to be doing so in partnership with our employees and their union, along with the support of Battle Creek Unlimited, the city of Battle Creek and the State of Michigan.”

In addition to investing in machinery and equipment, the project will include training current employees to enable the high-performing work team model necessary to drive future success. In total, the project will retain and/or create at least 213 jobs, all with wages and health care benefits that are among the best in Michigan manufacturing.

In addition to the state grant, the Battle Creek City Commission approved, and Mayor Mark Behnke signed, the application for the Renaissance Zone and Battle Creek Unlimited has offered a $250,000 grant in support of the project.

“Battle Creek Unlimited applauds the leadership at WK Kellogg Co, the MEDC and the city of Battle Creek for their efforts to keep these positions in Battle Creek,” said Battle Creek Unlimited President & CEO Joe Sobieralski. “The manufacturing jobs at WK Kellogg Co’s Battle Creek facility are some of the highest-paid in Michigan. The MEDC went above and beyond to find a creative solution to support this project, which not only retains 170 jobs but also adds more than 40 new positions and sets the stage for future opportunities. We greatly appreciate WK Kellogg Co’s commitment to Battle Creek and are excited for what’s to come.”

“Mayor Behnke, the City Commission, and Battle Creek Unlimited have been committed to economic development innovations and investments that seek to grow and improve our Battle Creek community,” said Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury. “We are pleased to see WK Kellogg Co receive the state of Michigan’s support in retaining and investing in well-paying jobs in Battle Creek and are excited to see this historic company’s growth in ways that will bring the company, employees, and the community future success.”

Read the full release here for all of the details:  https://www.michiganbusiness.org/press-releases/2023/12/msf/




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