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Allbanese giving workers annual bonuses of up to $2K as long as tax cuts in effect

Gummy bears move along conveyor belts at the Albanese Confectionery in Hobart Thursday.

Albanese Confectionery is giving employees annual bonuses of $150 to $2,000 as long as federal corporate tax cuts remain in effect.

The Hobart-based candy maker best known for its Gummi Bears and other gummies gave out bonuses based on length of service in January, after federal tax cuts reduced the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, down from 35 percent. Albanese plans to hand out the bonuses annually every January so long as the tax cuts remain in effect.

“Taxes are complicated. With the new tax plan we are able to take a giant leap in investing in the things that matter," Tess Albanese said at a meeting with employees. "You matter. It’s just that simple."

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Albanese employs about 400 workers at its Hobart facility, a tourist destination on U.S. 30 where it offers behind-the-scenes factory tours. The popular confectioner known for its gummi bears, gummi army guys and many other candies, plans to hire 150 more workers as it undergoes a three-year, $33 million expansion.

The growing company, whose employees have been trying to unionize, added more benefits, including paid maternity and paternity leave.

The tax cut also prompted Valparaiso-based Family Express to bump starting pay to $11 an hour at its 70 convenience stores across Indiana. First Financial Bank, 1st Source Bank, Fifth Third, PNC and First Midwest also boosted compensation. 1st Source, for instance, gave its 1,100 employees $500 worth of stock and $3,000 more a year in higher education tuition reimbursement, and provided $500 performance awards to select employees.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.