American Licorice Co. has announced plans to invest $10 million in the expansion of its La Porte, Ind. manufacturing facility.

The Bend, Ore.-based candy maker plans to equip and renovate its 285,000 square-foot facility. The expansion, which will include the installation of a licorice production line and the addition of a rail spur so the company can receive ingredients by rail, is expected to be completed by 2015.

John Kretchmer, the company’s ceo, says Indiana’s central location in the U.S. and its business-friendly climate were contributing factors in the decision to develop the La Porte facility.

In addition, American Licorice Co., know for it’s Red Vines brand, plans to expand its workforce, bringing on additional production associates next year.

The prospect of new jobs for its citizens prompted the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to offer American Licorice Co. up to $200,000 in tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are dependent on the hiring of Indiana citizens.

"American Licorice has been a great community partner for many years and I am thrilled to see them enjoy success here in La Porte,” says La Porte Mayor Blair Milo. “We look forward to continuing to partner with them in the days ahead as they continue to thrive and prosper.”

American Licorice, which currently employs 150 Hoosiers in La Porte and 500 associates nationwide, plans to begin hiring additional production associates next year.

Founded in 1914, American Licorice is one of the original licorice manufacturers in the United States and in addition to Red Vines, also makes Sour Punch, Natural Vines, Super Ropes and Snaps candy brands. The company, which also has a production facility in Union City, Calif., was named the 2012 Corporate Citizen of the Year by the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce for its community involvement.