Bel Brands USA, maker of the popular Mini Babybel cheese products, said it will invest more than $100 million to set up a new facility in Brookings, South Dakota.
The move means the company will be able to create 400 jobs, with plans to be operational by 2014 with 200 workers, with an additional 200 workers expected to be hired after 2016, according to the Argus Leader.
Local leaders said it is one of the biggest capital investments in the history of South Dakota, and is expected to have a $500 million annual impact on the local economy.
"Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime," Barry Dunn, dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, told the news agency. "This is jobs. It’s work experience. It’s internships … This will impact all of our students in a very positive way – open up opportunities for them. It’s an absolute game changer."
Meanwhile in California, a North Valley cheese maker has announced expansion plans that include adding approximately 100 new workers.
According to ABC affiliate WFSN News, Hilmar Cheese Company is in the process of getting a permit to build a new administrative building in Hilmar, which is expected to open within the next two to three years.