Kendall Packaging Holds Grand Opening for $10 Million Expansion Project
April 6, 2018
PITTSBURG, Kan. — Kendall Packaging, the company that engineers wrapping for common items such as wet wipes and candy, on Thursday put on a ribbon-cutting for its new 60,000-square-foot addition to its Pittsburg operation in the Northeast Regional Industrial Park.
The Wisconsin-based company was host for a grand opening for the public, offering plant tours and celebrating the completion. The $10 million project more than doubled the size of its former 35,000-square-foot building, provides state-of-the-art machinery and will add 18 jobs.
“What this particular expansion means to me and what it means to Kendall Packaging is the opportunity to bring on 18 new employees, 18 new members to the Kendall family,” Kendall CEO and President Eric G. Erickson III said at the open house.
Kendall Packaging is one of Pittsburg’s largest employers. It was named 2017 Employer of the Year by the city. Erickson said that in the last three years, the company has invested more than $17 million in expansion projects to both their plants in Pittsburg and Jefferson, Wisconsin.
The expansion has increased the company’s output capability by 60 percent. A large portion of the investment went to new equipment, including a 10-color printing press, a solventless laminator and a slitter. Construction crews broke ground on the 18-month project in September 2016, and the new layout is identical to that of its Wisconsin plant.
“For 31 years, we operated a little 35,000-square-foot plant here and did a great job working in that footprint,” Pittsburg plant manager Jack Trostle said. “We’re very excited to be able to expand.”
The expansion includes new office space, a conference room, a cafeteria and a workout room for employees. Press assistant Bob Spencer, who has been working at the Pittsburg plant for 18 years, said he’s been looking forward to the expansion for quite some time.
“I didn’t think it was ever going to happen, but it’s great now,” Spencer said. “We have more room to spread out. It’s going to be a lot easier to do our job now. The equipment is so much better. Now, we can do maybe three times as much as we used to.”
The project received $360,000 from the city’s revolving loan fund through its Community Development Block Grant program. Pittsburg City Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan said the project represents the largest manufacturing expansion in Pittsburg in over two decades.
“This project not only expanded the Kendall Packaging footprint in our community, but it also added almost 20 new jobs, and our community thanks you,” O’Bryan said. “I’m proud that the city of Pittsburg has played a role in this project.”
Original press release found here: The Joplin Globe