Dec 19, 2014

Beloit to welcome $52 million plant, 140 jobs

Excerpted from Janesville Gazette
By Jim Leute

A Georgia-based recycling and packaging company plans to build a $52 million manufacturing facility in Beloit that will employ 140 people.

Pratt Industries said Friday it will build a 350,000-square-foot plant to make corrugated boxes in Beloit’s Gateway Business Park.

Construction will start in spring with the plant becoming fully operational by January 2016.

Gov. Scott Walker said Pratt considered sites in three other Midwest states before settling on Wisconsin and Rock County.

Pratt is the United States’ fifth-largest corrugated packing company and is the world’s largest, privately held, 100-percent-recycled paper and packaging company.

It has more than 4,400 employees at manufacturing facilities in more than 20 states.

“This is a memorable day for our company,” said Pratt Chairman Anthony Pratt. “This plant will be our first ever in the great state of Wisconsin and is a perfect fit with our aggressive growth strategy to increase our manufacturing footprint and capabilities in the Midwest.

“We can’t wait to open for business here, and I’d like to thank Gov. Walker as well as officials at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and representatives of both Rock County and the city for Beloit for their can-do attitude and willingness to welcome and work with new businesses.”

The deal was facilitated with a combination of state and local resources from the city, the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corp., WEDC, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Alliant Energy.

Pratt said that not only would the Beloit facility boast the most advanced technologies in the packaging industry, it would also be a showcase for environmental responsibility.

Aside from using 100 percent recycled paper in its box-making process, the plant will use the latest in water reclamation technology and will eventually reduce discharge into the local sewer system to zero, he said.

Local officials said partnerships between state and local governments and the private sector were key to bringing the project to Beloit.

“This announcement underscores the necessity of having an efficient and effective economic development team,” said James Otterstein, Rock County’s economic development manager. “Successfully facilitating projects of this scale requires technical as well as complementary financial tools.”

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