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On-Cor food plant to ramp up production, add workers

GENEVA – A recently opened frozen food factory soon could boost its workforce.

Earlier this spring, Aurora-based OSI Group LLC, the parent corporation of the On-Cor Frozen Food brand, among others, opened its new production plant in Geneva.

The plant is attached to the Millard Refrigerated Services warehouse and distribution center on Geneva Drive in the city’s east side industrial park near the intersection of Route 38 and Kautz Road.

It began producing frozen Salisbury steaks, chicken parmigiana and lasagna, among other frozen entrees, in March.

The OSI Group’s 80,000-square-foot facility was built in Geneva after the company partnered with Millard to relocate its production operations to Geneva from Chicago.

The relocation was assisted, in part, by $10.25 million in recovery zone bonds issued by Kane County using federal government money in 2010.

An OSI representative said at that time, the bonds would be used by the company to cover the costs of equipment used to process frozen foods.

County officials said the bonds will be repaid by OSI and will not create an obligation for taxpayers.

In 2011, Millard and OSI built the plant attached to the Millard facility.

In 2010, representatives of OSI estimated the expansion project would cost $12 million to $14 million to complete.

Millard now leases the space to OSI, said an OSI spokeswoman.

Spokeswoman Alison Kovaleski said the facility is used to produce On-Cor brand frozen entrees, as well as “several other brands.”

The food is warehoused in and distributed from the Millard Refrigerated facility.

The food is sold to supermarkets, club stores, food-service providers, merchandisers and others throughout the U.S., a statement from OSI said.

OSI employs about 60 workers at its Geneva food production plant.

But Kovaleski said OSI expects to increase that number to about 100 workers “in the next few weeks.”

Geneva city officials hailed the project as “an important economic development initiative” and a “welcome addition” to the city’s industrial base.

The Geneva OSI production facility is one of more than 50 facilities operated by OSI in 17 countries, according to OSI.

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