Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) joined Colbert Packaging Corporation, a leading manufacturer of folding cartons, rigid setup boxes, and paperboard specialty products, in unveiling plans to relocate its flexographic packaging operation and related warehousing services from northern Illinois to Kenosha. The project is anticipated to bring more than 100 new jobs to Wisconsin.
“On behalf of the state of Wisconsin, I’m pleased to welcome Colbert Packaging to our state, and we applaud them for making this commitment,” Governor Walker said. “Businesses around the nation recognize that the reforms we’ve enacted to create a positive business climate and strengthen our workforce are working. That’s what makes Wisconsin a great choice for many companies seeking to relocate or expand their operations.”
Colbert is acquiring a new 173,000 square-foot building on 16 acres in the Business Park of Kenosha, which is located less than one mile from I-94. Colbert currently operates its flexographic division and warehouse from facilities in Illinois less than half that size.
“We started the flexo division in 1998 and have since been through two expansions, and we’re excited about making this significant investment for expansion that will be the footprint for our projected growth into 2020 and beyond,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Colbert Packaging. “Wisconsin is known for its printing and paper-making industries, as well as the technical expertise of those who work in these fields, which makes the state an ideal location for Colbert.”
Hamilton said Kenosha County was a natural choice for Colbert due to its proximity to the company’s headquarters and major transportation hubs, as well as that state’s favorable business climate. Many of Colbert’s employees live along the Illinois-Wisconsin border and I-94 corridor, and some already call Kenosha County home.
To help attract Colbert to Wisconsin, WEDC has authorized the company to receive up to $850,000 in state tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits received, however, will be contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment the company makes during that time.
Local officials anticipate the project will pay dividends in Kenosha County and beyond.
“Kenosha County is thrilled to welcome Colbert Packaging and is glad to offer its support to help them establish operations here,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “Kenosha County is ready to partner with them to help them thrive in the years to come.”
Kenosha County provided $250,000 from its High Impact Fund to support the project. The High Impact Fund is designed to incentivize companies creating jobs in Kenosha County.
“Kenosha has a strong legacy in manufacturing that will help Colbert Packaging be successful here,” added Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian. “We have a skilled and productive workforce, solid infrastructure, and many other assets – as well as a community that values manufacturing and what it means to our economy. Kenosha welcomes Colbert Packaging to its growing roster of diverse businesses.”
“The work Wisconsin has done over the past six years to make our state more attractive to manufacturing investment is clearly paying dividends,” said Gale Klappa, co-chair of the Milwaukee 7 and Chairman of WEC Energy Group. “The decision on where to place a new factory is among the most important a manufacturer will make. Industry leaders like Colbert Packaging clearly have options. Colbert’s decision to make a significant investment in Kenosha is further evidence that Wisconsin is among the most desirable locations in America for manufacturing investment.”
Colbert Packaging is the latest company to establish operations in Kenosha County. Since the beginning of 2013, major economic development projects accounting for more than 6,000 new jobs and about $1 billion of capital investments have been announced, completed, or are underway in the county. Companies that have new facilities in Kenosha County include Amazon, ULINE, InSinkErator, Meijer, Niagara Bottling, and Gourmet Foods International.
In addition to the 108 jobs expected to be created by Colbert, an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 67 additional jobs in the region. Those 175 new jobs are expected to generate up to $1.5 million in state income tax revenue over a five-year period.
The Colbert Packaging announcement comes as more than a dozen state agencies and organizations are marking Manufacturing Month with events throughout October.
“By establishing operations in Wisconsin, Colbert Packaging joins the 9,500 manufacturers around the state that employ hundreds of thousands of workers and produce top quality products,” added Governor Walker. “By investing in our workers, partnering with manufacturers and building awareness about this important industry, we will continue to keep Wisconsin’s manufacturing tradition and our talent pipeline strong for generations to come.”
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive economy. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.