Petoskey Plastics, located in the Morristown Area Industrial District, celebrated on Thursday Phase I of its plant expansion that, when complete, will encompass a $30-plus million investment and provide more than 70 jobs.
“We are so delighted for you all to be here to celebrate this ribbon cutting and expansion for our friends here at Petoskey Plastics,” Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chris Horn said. “The Chamber is really proud to serve in a supportive role for Petoskey Plastics and their winning team. We’re really grateful for their service and support of the Chamber and so we’re delighted to help the celebration of this expansion of their Morristown facilities and the creation of good jobs here in our community. On behalf of the Chamber, congratulations and best wishes for success as you continue to bring good service to your customers and fulfill your mission.”
Mayor Gary Chesney focused on the mission of the company in his remarks.
“The words ‘green’ and ‘recycle’ are part of our everyday vernacular, but in 1978 green was a color selection and recycle could have been a suggestion on how to go somewhere twice on a bicycle. In 1978, this company, Petoskey Plastics, began the type of recycling that is widely recognized and repeated today, when you map out industrial strategy.”
“Let’s say that recycling is something that Petoskey did when recycling wasn’t cool, when it wasn’t required, and that’s vision.” Chesney said. “Vision is what allows you to be prepared for challenges. It’s what allows you to handle those challenges. It allows you to grow and to expand and results in events like this one. Think of this company, 30 million pounds each year in post-consumer recycled content. We thank you for that vision and congratulations on your success and we’re glad when we say ‘we are Morristown’ that Petoskey is part of the ‘we.’”
Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain thanked the management team and employees for being great corporate citizens in the community.
“We thank you for your commitment to your operation here, the additional business that you’re developing here and the confidence you have placed in our community and the people of this region. Our commitment to you is that we will continue to make investments in Morristown and Hamblen County to continue to be a great place to do business. Thank you for helping to make us an economic hub for the Lakeway region and also a community that is very proud to make things,” Brittain said.
The continued investment by longtime manufacturers supports the local economy, according to Morristown Industrial Development Board Chairman R. Jack Fishman.
“This is really a great, great occasion,” Fishman said. “They built this facility in the 70s to make packaging, to make bags for businesses across America and they’re still doing that,” Fishman said. “When an industry that has the kind of investment that we already have here makes another commitment that is very important. Because what they are really saying when they do that — in this particular case, over $30 million in equipment and $5 million-plus in building — is that they believe in people that work in this particular plant. They do a job for them; they’re proud of them; and they want to provide them the latest technology they can to do their job. That’s very important in our community when industries continue to expand and say A): we like Morristown and B): we like the workforce; we like being here, and we’re going to do our part.”
Petoskey Plastics President and CEO Paul Keiswetter expressed appreciation to the large number of Chamber ambassadors and community supporters who attended the celebration before introducing Executive Vice President Jason Keiswetter.
“We love this community, we love this town and we’re happy to be here,” Paul said.
Jason told the crowd the company makes trash bags and “everything that feels like trash bags.”
“We service multiple divisions and markets and several retail markets. We get into construction and home improvement; we get into medical, so we are a very diverse company and we will continue to invest in this company. In the open bays behind me, over the next three to five years, we are going to continue to plant equipment, year over year, and continue to bring in more people, year over year. You’ve heard $30 million, that is the plan, in the next three to five years. We will be creating 71 jobs over that time frame. Thank you for the help and the support; and we look forward to the next few years of showing that we can do it.”
In addition to Morristown, Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Petoskey and Birmingham, Michigan and Hartford City, Indiana
Sam Grigsby, a member of Manley Baptist Church, served as Chamber chaplain and provided a prayer of blessing for the company, its employees and leadership team. Participants in the 2018 class of Leadership Morristown, a Chamber-led training program for future community stakeholders, also attended the ribbon cutting.