PITTSTON TWP. — Greiner Packaging Corp., a manufacturer of packaging in the food and non-food sectors, has established its U.S. headquarters in Pittston Township and will create 128 full-time jobs.
Lyndsay Kensinger, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, said the average salary for all jobs will be $40,219. Positions include management, IT, research and development, purchasing, engineers, logistics, sales and machine operators.
Greiner Packaging has entered into a lease for an 113,871-square-foot site in Pittston Township to serve as its first U.S. manufacturing site for the first developing stage. The Austrian company plans to invest nearly $17 million in manufacturing, computer equipment, furniture and fixtures at the site where it will produce high-quality premium packaging of cups and lids, as well as other convenience and sustainable items for the food industry. Greiner Packaging has also committed to creating at least 128 new jobs within the next three years.
“Our economy grows stronger every day and companies throughout the world are coming here to make it in Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Tom Corbett, who made the announcement via email Tuesday afternoon. “Our partnership with Greiner Packaging will result in the addition of the 128 new jobs and continued economic progress in Luzerne County.”
The company has leased more than half of a 223,387-square-foot industrial building constructed by Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services at 225 Enterprise Way in CenterPoint Commerce & Trade Park West.
Efforts to reach the company Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Willi Eibner, CEO of Greiner Packaging International, did offer comments in a state-issued release saying a number of factors contributed to the company’s decision to open a facility in Luzerne County, including location and having a move-in-ready building.
“Mericle had a suitable building available in Pittston Township at the right time. Our needs were swiftly attended to in a customer-oriented manner,” Eibner said.
He also said the area’s highly regarded workforce played an important role.
“There are already many skilled workers in the surrounding areas,” he said.
The location, minutes from I-81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike and less than 30 minutes from I-80, I-84 and I-380, gives the company a gateway to the country’s interstates.
“About 40 percent of the U.S. population lives in the country’s northeast,” Eibner said. “This region is of great interest to the packaging industry because many milk processing establishments are located here.”
Food companies that manufacture dairy products are among Greiner Packaging International’s customers.
The company received a funding proposal from the DCED, including a $104,000 Guaranteed Free Training grant to be used to train its new workforce. Additional funding offers include a $450,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation and $256,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits.
The company has also been encouraged to apply for the funding offer as well as a low-interest loan including $3.2 million from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund (MELF). Greiner Packaging has accepted the funding proposal, but must still apply for each loan and grant and agree to the terms prior to award receipt, according to the governor’s office.
Greiner Packaging is a subsidiary enterprise of Greiner Packaging International, which is one of five divisions of Greiner Group. Greiner Packaging International employs more than 3,200 at 34 locations worldwide.
Any new jobs are positive news for this area, which in December maintained its grip on the state’s highest unemployment rate for the 45th consecutive month. The jobless rate for the tri-county area including Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming was at 8.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since July 2009, when it was 8.6 percent, but still one of only two metro regions in the state with a rate in excess of 7.3 percent.
Individuals interested in exploring employment opportunities with Greiner Packaging International should contact Jennifer Zapko at the PA CareerLink in Wilkes-Barre at 570-822-1101, ext. 250, or visit the office at 32 E. Union St.
Another international company setting up shop in Luzerne County is a sign that the region is an attractive one to business, said Joseph Burke, president of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce.
“What a tremendous compliment to the Greater Pittston community that Greiner Packaging International has chosen us as a key locale for its U.S. manufacturing and distribution. The combination of our region’s strategic location, our gifted work force and the extraordinary facilities at CenterPoint West have once again put Greater Pittston and Northeastern Pennsylvania at the competitive forefront.”