CEDAR CITY — American Packaging Corporation has announced it will open a new manufacturing plant in Cedar City.
According to a July 8 news release from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the facility is expected to add 135 or more new high-paying jobs within the next 10 years.
“This expansion is a big win for Cedar City, and the number of jobs it will provide will benefit Utahns,” Dan Hemmert, the Office of Economic Opportunity’s executive director said in the release. “As Southern Utah continues to grow, we’re pleased companies are choosing to expand and grow in the area to provide jobs and enhanced quality of life for those residents.”
Danny Stewart, the economic development director for Cedar City and Iron County, said American Packaging will be the latest addition to Cedar City’s Port 15 industrial park in the western section of town.
“American Packaging Corporation is well-known as one of the very best packaging manufacturers in the country,” Stewart said, noting that Cedar City was chosen over several other sites throughout the Western United States in a highly competitive selection process. “We’re truly excited that they’ve selected Cedar City as their first Western location, and we can’t wait to help them succeed here.”
“Cedar City’s a really good place for attracting manufacturing technology, and Port 15 is getting a lot of attention,” Stewart told Cedar City News. In addition to railway access, Stewart said the site already has all the necessary utility infrastructure in place, including power, gas, water, sewer and redundant fiber.
“It’s shovel ready,” he said.
Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards said the American Packaging project includes an estimated capital investment of $127 million and will be located just northwest of the Goex plastics extrusion facility that is already under construction nearby.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have American Packaging Corporation choose to bring their company to Cedar City,” Wilson-Edwards said, adding, “I’ve gotten to know the company’s president over the past few months, and I’ve learned how perfectly APC and Cedar City fit together. We share similar values and cultures, and we appreciate the importance of treating customers and employees like family.”
Along these lines the mayor added that APC is “committed to lead by example in Cedar City, providing new opportunities and helping their new ‘family members’ to succeed.”
“Understanding Cedar City’s history and culture of hard work, integrity and community helped APC’s leadership see what a perfect fit our city is for their success.”
Stewart noted that APC company president Jeff Koch had started working for the company more than 40 years ago “pushing a broom.”
“And now, he’s the president of the company,” he said. “That’s just the culture of the company: they offer opportunity. They treat their people like family.”
The news release quoted Koch as saying: “We’re thrilled with the opportunity to expand our footprint in the West and partner with the people of Cedar City to offer our state-of-the-art printing capabilities. This new location enables us to be closer to and collaborate directly with customers in the western United States. Our facility will include world-class print media technologies to support customers’ unique packaging needs and deliver final products that distinctly stand out on the shelf.”
Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Columbus, Wisconsin, American Packaging is a family-owned company that produces flexible packaging covering various products, including food, personal care, medical, pharmaceutical and industrial products. The company, which develops and supplies flexible packaging for customers throughout the United States and Canada, has a workforce of approximately 1,200 employees in its network of five production facilities and two innovation centers.
According to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, also known simply as Go Utah, American Packaging may earn up to 25% of the new state taxes it will pay over the 10-year life of its agreement with the state, in the form of an Economic Development Tax Increment Finance tax credit, as authorized by the Utah Legislature.
The Go Utah Board has approved a post-performance tax credit not to exceed $661,260, the news release states, noting that each year American Packaging meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn back a portion of the total tax credit.
The Go Utah board has also approved an Industrial Assistance Fund Economic Opportunity Grant for up to $75,000 for infrastructure-related expenses related to developing the APC site.
“American Packaging Corporation sees robust potential for their company in Cedar City and is confident with investing there given the infrastructure and workforce present in the community,” added Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “Iron County will serve as a strategic logistical location for the company, providing excellent access to raw material and customers across the West.”
Stewart said that although no official groundbreaking ceremony has been scheduled, the company has indicated it plans to start construction sometime this summer, with the hiring process also expected to begin soon.
“They’ve already talked with (Utah Department of) Workforce Services, and they’ll start a hiring strategy with them,” Stewart said. “They’ll be hiring, I guess, in the next six months and sending people out to their other plants for training.”
For more information about American Packaging, visit the company’s website.
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