Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products Group will expand its existing operation in Bowling Green with a nearly $100 million investment expected to create more than 50 full-time jobs.
“Georgia-Pacific’s investment of $100 million demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to the commonwealth and the Bowling Green community,” Gov. Bevin said. “For nearly three decades, the Dixie facility has served up opportunities for Kentuckians, and this latest announcement of more than 50 new full-time jobs will provide our highly-skilled workforce with even more pathways to success. Georgia-Pacific produces some of the world’s most iconic household name brands, and we are grateful they have found an enduring home here in Kentucky, America’s engineering and manufacturing center of excellence.”
Georgia-Pacific will grow its plant’s footprint in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park by 80,000 square feet to increase production capacity for Dixie plates and bowls. Construction is already underway, and company leaders anticipate the project will be finished in the first half of 2020.
“This is great news for our Dixie business and the Bowling Green plant. This expansion will help us continue meeting the needs of our customers as demand continues to grow for high-quality, durable paper plates and bowls,” said Erik Sjogren, vice president and general manager of livingware at Georgia-Pacific. “We believe this expansion will also position our Bowling Green Dixie facility to remain competitive in the market and in the local community for the long term.”
Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries produce bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals. The company’s brands include Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, Dixie®, enMotion®, Sparkle®, Mardi Gras® and Vanity Fair®. The company has also long been a supplier of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large DIY warehouse retailers. Georgia-Pacific operates nearly 200 facilities and directly employs approximately 35,000 people.
Georgia-Pacific opened the Bowling Green operation in 1992, and the plant has seen several expansions over the past 27 years. The facility produces about one quarter of all the company’s paper plates and bowls. Georgia-Pacific also operates a Dixie facility in Lexington. In total, the company directly employs nearly 500 Kentuckians. Since 2013, the company has invested $66 million in its Kentucky operations.
Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green, expressed gratitude for the company’s commitment.
“I want to thank Georgia-Pacific for bringing this major investment to Bowling Green,” Sen. Wilson said. “Not only will this project bring in additional jobs, but also an increase in Dixie bowls and plates that is sure to be appreciated throughout the upcoming summer months.”
Rep. Steve Sheldon, of Bowling Green, said changing state policies have helped spearhead this type of growth.
“This is great news for Bowling Green and our region. Georgia-Pacific has been a good corporate citizen and the 50 jobs they are adding with this expansion means a lot to our local economy,” Rep. Sheldon said. “This is more evidence that the pro-jobs, pro-economic development policies we are passing in Frankfort are paying off across the state. Add this to national studies that show average hourly earnings are increasing at rates we haven’t seen since 2009 and we have a formula for economic progress and an improved quality of life.”
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said he expects the company’s upward trajectory to continue.
“We celebrate with Georgia-Pacific on this new facility expansion,” Mayor Wilkerson said. “Georgia-Pacific’s global footprint is seen right here in Bowling Green; we are proud to have them here and are excited for their continued investment and growth.”
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon noted the significance of the project for the local economy.
“Congratulations to Georgia-Pacific on this great project. This expansion will have an economic impact of over $194 million over the next ten years in south central Kentucky,” Judge-Executive Buchanon said. “We are grateful for businesses like Georgia-Pacific that continue to invest in our community and our economy.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said Georgia-Pacific holds a special place within the community.
“Georgia-Pacific is a valuable operation in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park and a tremendous asset to this community,” Bunch said. “They are an integral part of our region’s diverse economy. We are excited to announce this expansion and look forward to their many more years of success in our community.”