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Plastics plant to open in biz park

August 30, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

The bears are coming.

They won't look like bears to begin with, but once shaped and filled with sweet honey, there will be no mistaking them.

"Our major product line is honey containers, and also the mustard industry," said Jim Brown, plant manager with Wisconsin-based Parker Plastics. "Our major bottle, that everybody knows about, is the honey bear bottle."

The Midwest maker of plastic containers announced plans Monday to open a 43,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Baer-McCleary Building at 105 Enterprise Lane in the Washington County Business Park.

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Founded in 1989, Parker Plastics operates two other manufacturing facilities: one in Sand Springs, Okla., and a second in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., where its administrative offices are housed. Brown said the company was looking to open a new manufacturing facility in the region, near Interstates 70 and 81, and opted for the Enterprise Lane site in part due to assistance it received from county officials and members of the Washington County Economic Development Commission.

"Just the geographic location, the interstates," Brown said. "We liked the way EDC actually worked with us, and also just the location along the corridor of 81 and 70."

Brown said he expects to begin production in November with about 25 or 30 workers. He said he expects that number to increase to around 65 by January and that the company will expand the Enterprise Lane plant within the next year. He estimated hourly wages at the plant will be $9 to $12 an hour.

Cassandra Latimer, marketing specialist with the EDC, said she was excited by Parker Plastics' decision to open a plant here following a rocky start to the year that brought layoff and plant-closing announcements from other manufacturers in the county, including GST AutoLeather, Fleetwood Travel Trailers of Maryland Inc. and Phoenix Color Corp.

"It's refreshing to see a manufacturing company coming into the county, and I think this company will be able to provide some good jobs to people who have the right skill sets," Latimer said.

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