International Paper is nearing completion on the 250,000 square foot expansion at its Kenton manufacturing facility. As final construction continues and new equipment installation begins, International Paper officials credit community organizations for being advocates behind growth for the company and 125 jobs that will be created in the Kenton community.
Representatives from the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance (HCCBA) and JobsOhio visited the facility Wednesday for an update and tour of the project progress. “This is an exciting time for our Foodservice business and for Kenton. We have reached a critical milestone in this process – the walls are up and we are gearing up for our full move-in,” said Tracy Pearson, vice president and general manager, Foodservice. “We know our strong history in Kenton would not be possible without the support of Hardin County, city of Kenton and state leadership along with organizations such as HCCBA, the Regional Growth Partnership and JobsOhio. We truly appreciate the contribution that each of these organizations have provided to making this vision a reality.”
In early 2014, International Paper announced the expansion of its Kenton facility, which manufactures fiber-based hot and cold cups, food buckets, containers, plates and lids for many popular quick-service restaurant brands. The expansion reflects industry trends showing solid growth fueled by consumer demand for convenient, on-the-go food and beverage containers as part of their daily routines, according to a release from the company.
Kenton was selected based on access to a skilled workforce, its multi-mode transportation capabilities and easy distribution access to the Midwest, East Coast and Southern markets.
“As we envision the future of Kenton and the surrounding areas, we know that business, education and workforce work hand in hand,” said Jon Cross, president and CEO, HCCBA. “Our partnership with International Paper is a prime example of the collaboration it takes to drive and sustain growth in our community.”
“International Paper is a premier supplier in its industry, and their focus on process efficiency and product innovation are key drivers of the company’s growth and expansion,” said Glenn Richardson, managing director, JobsOhio. “Along with the Regional Growth Partnership, we are excited this state-of-the-art expansion is in Kenton and will bring 125 more manufacturing jobs to the area.”
The company said the facility has passed initial inspections and has begun partial occupancy of the new building.
Completion of the expansion is anticipated in late summer. More information about starting operations and grand opening activities will be released in the coming months.