NASHVILLE—Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with WS Packaging Group, Inc. officials today announced the company will expand its current operations in Knoxville by opening a new location in the PBR Building, located at 10215 Caneel Dr. In order to increase its operations to accommodate more industry market share, WS Packaging Group will also consolidate its Knoxville facilities to this more central location. The company will invest $43 million and create 231 new jobs.
“I want to thank WS Packaging Group for reinvesting in Tennessee, and I appreciate the new jobs being created in Knox County,” Haslam said. “One of the priorities in our Jobs4TN strategy is companies already doing business in Tennessee, and whenever a company already operating here decides to stay and expand, it further supports our goal of becoming the No. 1 location the southeast for high quality jobs.”
“I’m pleased WS Packaging Group can continue to benefit from Tennessee’s ideal business climate. As a state with the lowest per capita debt in the nation and our superior logistical advantages, we pride ourselves on investing in incumbent businesses,” Hagerty said. “I appreciate the new jobs WS Packaging Group is creating in our state and look forward to their continued presence in Tennessee.”
WS Packaging Group, Inc. is one of the largest label converting operations in North America with more than 45 years of experience in label printing and packaging. It operates 21 manufacturing facilities and produces high-quality packaging products. Its customers range in size from small businesses to large, high-volume manufacturers and consumer product goods companies doing business locally, nationally and in marketplaces worldwide. The company has more than 1,800 employees.
Through this consolidation of facilities and expansion, WS Packaging Group will move all of their Knoxville facilities to the new location in the PBR Building to create synergy between the different operations, and plans to complete the move to their new facility by mid-July.
“WS Packaging Group has a long-standing history as a leading provider of complex label solutions for branded consumer and business-to-business products for companies throughout North America,” WS Packaging chief executive officer Rex Lane said. “This expansion in Knoxville will allow us to meet the changing and growing needs of our customer base. It also will enable us to leverage a strong business environment, with support from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, to create additional employment opportunities.”
“I'm proud that WS Packaging chose to expand their operations into Knox County's Westbridge Business Park,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. “These 231 new manufacturing jobs to our community are very welcome news.”
“WS Packaging’s $43 million expansion represents one of the largest manufacturing capital investments by an existing industry in Knox County in the past decade,” Knoxville Chamber President & CEO Mike Edwards said. “This is precisely why we have a sharp focus on business retention and expansion programs in our Innovation Valley economic development strategies.”
“TVA congratulates WS Packaging Group in Knoxville on their major expansion announcement that will add quality jobs for area residents,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “TVA and Lenoir City Utilities Board value the partnership with the state of Tennessee, Knoxville Chamber, and city and county leaders, which assists existing businesses to invest and grow locally.”
The company plans to begin initial hiring in March and April. People interested in applying for one of these new jobs can visit www.jobs4tn.gov or inquire at the Tennessee Career Center at Knoxville. Interested parties can also visit www.wspackaging.com for more information.
Tennessee was recently selected the No. 1 state in the nation for economic development by Business Facilities Magazine. Hagerty added, “The governor and I are pleased to see the results of the new strategy we put in place when the governor took office in 2011. Being named No. 1 in the U.S. underscores the fact that the governor’s strategy is working.”
About WS Packaging Group, Inc.
WS Packaging Group, Inc., with more than 45 years of experience, is one of the largest printing and label converting operations in North America. It operates 21 manufacturing facilities and produces high-quality packaging products. Its customers range in size from small businesses to large, high-volume manufacturers and consumer product goods companies doing business locally, nationally, and in marketplaces worldwide. WS Packaging Group is majority owned by J.W. Childs Associates, L.P. (JWC), a private equity firm based in Boston, Mass., investing in middle-market growth companies. Since 1995, JWC has invested in over 40 companies, with a transaction value of more than $12 billion.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.