Kendall Packaging, a 30-year corporate citizen of Pittsburg, will be expending up to $10 million on an expansion that will support its current growth plan and contribute significantly to area economic development efforts. Through a partnership with the City of Pittsburg, the flexible packaging converter will be more than doubling its current plant size and adding jobs within the near future.
"This is our second major expansion in three years," explained Eric Erickson III, Kendall Packaging president and CEO. "Between the Pittsburg plant and our facility in Jefferson, Wisconsin, we will have invested approximately $17 million in new equipment and added plant capacity. As a corporation, we have experienced an exceptional growth rate and want to continue that trend."
As the expansion officially kicks off during a groundbreaking ceremony on September 21 in Pittsburg’s Northeast Regional Industrial Park, Kendall Packaging will be adding 59,000 square feet to its building and new equipment to complement its manufacturing capabilities. Equipment includes a 10-color flexographic printing press, a solventless laminator, a slitter and other ancillary equipment.
"We really need this expansion," commented Jack Trostle, Pittsburg plant manager. "Right now, we are maxed out as far as what we can do. Our employees are working at full capacity to provide superior customer service and a world-class product. Expanding is the only logical conclusion as we look at our current manufacturing platform."
By adding new equipment and expanding the physical footprint of the plant, Kendall Packaging can add state-of-the-art processes that are an important part of Kendall’s long-term strategic plans.
Kendall Packaging provides custom packaging solutions for a broad cross section of private label companies and specializes in products in the baked goods, cheese, confectionary, dry foods, frozen foods, meats, pasta, snack food, personal care and pet food markets. The products featuring their packaging are offered locally and nationally in grocery stores and other retail locations.
"It is exciting to see Kendall Packaging investing in this plant expansion," commented Blake Benson, Pittsburg Economic Development Director and President of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. "They have been a long-time employer and an innovative member of the community."
Agreements with the City of Pittsburg will allow Kendall Packaging to borrow funds from a Community Development Block Grant and an Industrial Revenue Bond issue that will provide low-cost financing for the project and temporary tax abatement on the plant expansion.
Not only does the project mean more business and jobs for Kendall Packaging, but it also leads to more local partnerships. Kendall Packaging selected Tri-State Building as the general contractor for the building expansion, and Triad Environmental Services will be completing the environmental studies and plans needed prior to construction.
"Tri-State Building constructed the building we are currently in and has done some other projects for us along the way. We have a good working relationship with them and feel they are well respected in the community. It's a pleasure to work with them on this expansion," explained Trostle.
With the groundbreaking scheduled in just a couple of weeks, Erickson projects the construction phase to be complete by July 2017, and all new equipment to be up and running by September 2017. Kendall Packaging plans to hire 15 new employees over the next several months to support the expansion.
As Kendall Packaging looks to the future with this expansion, their commitment to quality and service remains the same. "To us, this provides the Pittsburg plant with the platform and foundation to stay current with the emerging technologies in the flexible packaging industry. This means we plan to stay and grow in southeast Kansas for a long, long time," said Erickson.