Printpack officials to hold grand opening for new Rhinelander facility

August 9, 2014

River News Staff

River News

More than two years after it announced plans to reinvest in its Rhinelander operations by building a new state-of-the-art production facility on Wisconsin Highway 17, Printpack is ready to show off its new home.

A grand opening for the new facility will be held on Monday, Aug. 11. The event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and public tours of the new plant.

The new plant is part of Printpack's aggressive reinvestment strategy to improve production efficiency. This location replaces Printpack's existing Rhinelander facility with a 203,400 square foot building and state-of-the-art equipment. Printpack worked with the governor's office as well as the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to make the project a reality.

State and local dignitaries including Gov. Scott Walker, Rhinelander Mayor Richard Johns, Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn, Oneida County Economic Development Executive Director Roger Luce, State Rep. Rob Swearingen and State Sen. Tom Tiffany are expected to attend the grand opening.

"Printpack has been pleased to be a part of the Rhinelander community for over 25 years, and we are excited about the new investment we are making there," said chairman and CEO Dennis Love. "This major commitment will provide our Rhinelander associates with the best technology available in our industry and put us on a path to continued success for years to come."

The grand opening will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by comments from Love and Gov. Walker. The plant will be open to the public for tours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Printpack announced its plan for the new facility on May 30, 2012 but that's not where the process began. The first steps were taken months earlier as officials analyzed the company's position within the $21 billion "value-added" flexible packaging industry. Printpack focuses on markets such as snack foods, confectionery, cereal, beverage, pet food, personal care and medical.

Rhinelander was eventually chosen as the right location. Approximately 30 new jobs were added to the nearly 140 existing positions at Printpack because of the additional production output the new plant will create.

"It's mostly about having the right kind of people to do the job," Love said of the decision to expand in Rhinelander. "It was the history we have here. The people are well-educated and trained in what we do."

Oneida County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) Executive Director Roger Luce said about 1,100 emails were exchanged among various Printpack and local officials during the course of coordinating the project. OCEDC facilitated a land swap so Printpack could acquire the Wisconsin 17 site for the new plant. The city of Rhinelander annexed the property into the city and established a new TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district to provide a development incentive as well as put in utility infrastructure. The state Department of Transportation awarded a $425,000 grant to the city to assist with the road improvements that had to be done to provide safe access to the new facility.

"It takes an entire region to get these projects done," Luce said.

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