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Global packaging company to invest record-breaking $1 billion in Waco

GPI Exterior Rendering.jpg
Posted at 10:43 PM, Feb 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-08 23:43:14-05

WACO, Texas — An international company that produces recycled paper packaging products in investing a record-setting $1 billion in a new paper mill in Waco.

Graphic Packaging International is the first-ever company to make a billion-dollar investment in McLennan County.

The company recycles large cardboard and turns it into products like cereal boxes.

The Waco facility is set to use new technology that uses only a quarter of the typical water needed for each ton of paperboard created.

"Waco is a really thoughtful and strategic city in terms of its infrastructure, water infrastructure planning, and in addition to that, we've really worked hard to build a workforce pipeline to ensure that people have access to well-paying jobs, and that employers have access to well-trained employees," said Waco mayor Dillon Meek.

Meek previously traveled with other county leaders to visit the company's plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The project is expected to bring 230 new locally-recruited manufacturing jobs with an average salary of $65,000. The company is also set to use nearly 800 contractors during the construction process.

Robert Allen, CEO and president of the Texas Economic Development Corporation, said the investment is a major milestone for the community.

"Over that three-year course of construction, you're going to get construction jobs and then you're going to have a facility that's a taxpayer in the community," Allen said. "So it really is tremendous, well-deserved news."

Graphic Packaging is set to begin recruiting for key roles early this year. The plant is slated to begin manufacturing in early 2026.