The mayor of Lebanon says the decision by United Kingdom-based DS Smith Plc to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in the Boone County city represents the city’s competitiveness on a national level. The packaging company broke ground Friday morning on the $100 million facility, which is expected to create 140 jobs by the end of 2020. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Matt Gentry said the decision is a great indicator of what is being done locally.
"From a local perspective, we’re doing a lot of investments in our quality of life. We want to make Lebanon a great place to live," said Gentry. "We have a great labor force; we bring in people from all parts of Indiana, Lafayette, Indianapolis (who) all can work here in Lebanon with great access."
Jim Morgan, president and chief executive officer of DS Smith’s North America Packaging & Paper Division, says the decision to locate in Lebanon was because of the city’s balance of a number of criteria.
"It starts with our customers. We’ve got a wide range of customers that can be serviced by this facility. It happened to fit perfectly inside of a customer profile that we looked for," said Morgan. "We’re also looking for the kind of community that we can thrive in, where the workforce is, where we can build a business and Lebanon met those criteria. It was a competitive process. There were a lot of folks interested."
Morgan says the initial goal of the facility is to build a sustainable business. He says the Lebanon facility will help the company deliver on its customers’ needs.
The facility, located at the Lebanon Business Park, is expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year. Gentry says the business park is nearing full capacity.
"There are few parcel left and we think there’s a couple more projects out there that we have some leads on. But we actually are coming close towards the end of this business park so we’re actually looking at how do we take the next step and expand it and continue the economic development happening here in Lebanon."