LEBANON, Ind. (WLFI) — A 560,000 square foot international packaging company broke ground in Lebanon Friday.
DS Smith is Lebanon's largest economic development to date.
News 18 sat down with the Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry to discuss the role the company will play in the community.
"I think DS Smith saw this as a place where they can grow and keep succeeding as a company," said Gentry.
DS Smith is a company that is almost worth 5 billion dollars.
It found its home in Lebanon, Indiana.
DS Smith focuses on manufacturing paper products and speciality packaging.
"They provide these packaging services for companies large and small so a big part of them locating in Lebanon too was they wanted to be near their customers," said Gentry. "They are a big name in Europe. They are really working on developing their North American footprint."
This footprint is a first if its kind in the U.S.
It's the first DS Smith being built from the ground up. The company had its choice between Lebanon and an undisclosed city in Ohio. It ended up choosing the one just southeast of Lafayette.
"I'm really excited to see now that it's actually going to become a reality," said Gentry. "Up until you actually put the shovels in the dirt and show that the idea is becoming a reality then people are really excited about it."
The community and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb are excited about the 140 jobs it will bring in the fall of 2020.
Gentry says Governor Holcomb knows the company is a good fit.
"I think Governor Holcomb is excited about what's happening in Indiana right now," said Gentry. "We are on a great path and we are adding jobs like crazy."
The highly automated facility is a $105 million investment. DS Smith operates in 37 countries and employs over 28,000 people.
Gentry knows the business will thrive.
"They are a very innovative and forward thinking company," said Gentry. "Something that's also attractive to me about them is that even in a recession people need packaging so it's more recession proof."
Gentry adds that the Lebanon Business Park is proof that DS Smith picked the right city.
DS Smith not only broke ground in Lebanon today, but construction also started. It will be fully under construction the first week of February.
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