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UK Packaging Company DS Smith Breaks Ground In Lebanon

010419_ds_smith.jpg

State and local officials along with DS Smith representatives break ground Friday for the UK packaging company's new facility in Lebanon. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

A UK packaging company has announced plans to build a new facility in Lebanon. DS Smith produces paper and plastic packaging for companies including John Deere and Hershey.

Lebanon Mayor Matthew Gentry says his city has been marketing its tax policy and its access to Interstate 65 to possible investors.

“We’ve also been very attractive from the standpoint that we’ve had our tax rate frozen for the last three years in Lebanon,” says Gentry. “So I think that’s very attractive for companies. Then we also have a great access to labor shed you know we bring people all the way from Indianapolis, from Lafayette all to work here in Lebanon.”

Jim Morgan, DS Smith’s North American Packing and Paper Business president and CEO, says the Lebanon location will be the company’s furthest west facility in North America.

“It was really driven by where our customers were located first, then where we could find the right kind of workforce, the right environment to do our business in,” says Morgan.

Indiana currently has about 90,000 vacant jobs and an unemployment rate below the national average.

Gov. Eric Holcomb says workforce development is making progress with some of the state’s initiatives.

“We launched Next Level Jobs that has reached out to over 450 business that have taken part of it and 11,000 Hoosiers who have taken part of this, but we could do more,” says Holcomb.

The company submitted documents stating the average worker salary will be $22 per hour, based on the employment of about 140 people.

State and local officials offered about $7 million to lure DS Smith to Boone County.  The facility is scheduled to open by the end of the year.

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