Our thanks to John Keith, General Manager at Kruger Packaging in Elizabethtown, for presenting at the February Facility Managers Meeting. During the meeting, Keith hosted a tour of the facility, which officially opened in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park last year.
Before guests toured the facility, Elizabethtown mayor Jeff Gregory addressed those in the room who are leaders in local manufacturing, informing them about sponsorship opportunities for upcoming city-hosted events.
“One of the things that we try to do in the City of Elizabethtown to support our industries is to make sure that we are providing amenities and creating a place where people want to live,” he said. “We want people who are highly-qualified to come here to fill the jobs that you all have available in your different factories. One of the ways we do that is to ensure we have lots of things to do here and that falls right in line with what we do through our events.”
In addition, EHCIF Vice President Andy Games also brought attention to plans for Manufacturing Month, which is set for October. During Manufacturing Month, EHCIF plans to facilitate partnerships between local manufacturers and school districts to host field trips at local manufacturing facilities and interactive activities at local schools. Local manufacturers interested in participating can contact Games at email@example.com.
Following these remarks and a presentation from Keith, attendees gathered at the mezzanine inside Kruger Packaging to view operations at the plant.
Kruger Packaging manufactures containers for food, beverages, dairy products, meat, fruits and vegetables, flowers, chemicals, textiles, clothing and industrial products. The plant produces 100 percent recycled corrugated boxes.
A $142 million investment, the state-of-the-art box plant encompasses nearly 500,000 square feet and will employ approximately 150 people. Featuring a highly-automated corrugator and four ultramodern converting lines, the plant anticipates producing 2.4 billion square feet of recycled corrugated boxes annually.
Kruger Packaging’s parent company, Kruger Inc., is a fourth-generation family company founded in 1904 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The company is involved in several industry sectors, such as tissue products, newsprint and other publication papers, renewable energy, recycling and real estate, and operates 20 manufacturing sites and close to 40 renewable energy power plants across North America. The plant’s location in Elizabethtown was decided based on proximity to other manufacturing hubs and target markets, the region’s workforce readiness, room for future expansion and suitability of land.
“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation and for President Rick Games,” Keith said. “We went to a lot of sites, including sites in Richmond, Indiana and Ohio, but we were so impressed with Elizabethtown that we decided to settle here.”
Though the plant is new to the region, Kruger has already formed several community partnership initiatives, including the Kruger Packaging Scholarship with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, which provided two $2,000 awards during the 2022-2023 academic year to help remove financial barriers for current or new ECTC students pursuing credentials in industrial maintenance and business. The plant has also pursued community service projects in partnership with the City of Elizabethtown and other projects.
“I’m very happy to be here in my new Kentucky home,” Keith said.
Next month’s Facility Managers Meeting will be held at ECTC and will include presentations from the college’s Workforce Solutions team.
For more information, or if interested in attending the next Facility Managers Meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.