With a huge assist from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Enterprise Fund, Corsicana and Navarro County will be the home of a $58 million expansion project at Pactiv Corporation, one of the city's industrial partners on East State Highway 31.
The news, announced by the governor's office and local officials Monday, provides a major boost to the Corsicana and Navarro County economy and jobs base with the addition of 200 jobs, and sets the scene for more expansion possibilities in the future.
"Whether employers are looking to move or expand, Texas continues to compete for jobs and investment in a variety of industries thanks to our low taxes, reasonable regulations, fair courts and skilled workforce," Gov. Perry said in a release from his office. "This TEF investment in Pactiv will help bring 200 jobs and millions in capital investment to Corsicana, further strengthening the local economy and providing opportunity for Texas families."
The state is investing $930,000 through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in Pactiv for the expansion of the company's manufacturing facility in Corsicana, and creation of 200 jobs and a multimillion dollar capital investment.
Pactiv is a manufacturer of polystyrene packaging containers for the food service industry, plus other custom products for industry, and has been a vital part of the Corsicana community for over 20 years.
The company is expanding its Corsicana operations by building a state-of-the-art 150,000 sq. ft. addition to its existing facility. This plant will be the second site in Pactiv's global network to manufacture Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) cups and containers.
"The market demand for EPS cups is strong and this will be a great addition to Pactiv's existing, multi-material offering," Pactiv President and CEO John McGrath said. "Our customers will benefit from the opportunity to get a broader assortment of products from us. Texas has been a great place to do business for our company and we thank Texas for its support of our expansion project."
Negotiations for the expansion had come down to two possible locations -- Corsicana, and a town in North Carolina. Corsicana, with the help of Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Texas House Speaker Jon Straus, and State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) in obtaining the Enterprise Fund assistance for the project, came out on top. That was much to the delight of local leaders who had worked for months on the proposal.
"To have new industry move into Corsicana is always wonderful," said Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan, "but to have one of 'our own' who has been a good strategic partner for a long time have the confidence in Corsicana to make this type of expansion really, really is a sweet deal."
Plant Manager Harvey Sweet said the expansion will more than double the existing size of the plant.
"It's going to involve bringing in some additional manufacturing capability focused on a variety of product lines," he said. "In a nutshell, it will add 200 to 250 new jobs."
Sweet said company officials hope to break ground on the expansion in November, and begin manufacturing operations in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"It's an absolutely wonderful announcement," said County Judge. H.M. Davenport Jr. "A coordinated effort by a lot of folks has made a big, big difference in keeping them here and allowing them to expand."
Davenport praised the efforts of Cook, McClanahan, and Economic Development Director Lee McCleary in working together to see the plan come through.
"This will make a difference in people's lives," McCleary. "This will create 250 well paying jobs with benefits. It will be a life-changing project for the community.
"This project would not be where it is today if it weren't for the efforts of Byron Cook," he added.
Cook said it was a effort of many to see the project through.
"I'm very fortunate to be in a leadership position where I was able to work with the governor's office, the lt. governor's office and the speaker's office in a manner that culminated in the success we're having today," Cook said.
Cook said it was the partnerships and cooperation among the offices that helped bring the Enterprise Fund award to the business, and the plant project in Corsicana.
"There were so many issues that had to be addressed," he explained, adding that all the entities involved in the talks and planning came together to see it through.
Ultimately, Cook called McClanahan, McCleary and Davenport together and went to Austin last Thursday to meet with leaders there to seal the deal.
"Everybody was terrific," he said. "We were able to sit down and address what needed to be taken care of, and we left Austin in the pouring rain, but left with a commitment from everybody that we were moving forward."
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