After an “exhaustive” nationwide search of prospective buildings to host its first major U.S. manufacturing operation, Canada’s Balcan Plastics Inc. chose Pleasant Prairie where it aims to create up to 120 jobs.
“Balcan is a long-standing, successful Canadian company seeing very attractive growth, and to support that growth and support our customers we have made this investment into the United States,” CEO Dano Lister said in an interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal.
An affiliate of Balcan Plastics paid $13 million for a 215,000-square-foot industrial building in Pleasant Prairie’s Lakeview Corporate Park, according to state records. The company over the next 12 months will rehab that building for its operations and launch with about 60 workers, Lister said. It could double that count over time.
Based in Quebec with about 1,100 employees in Canada, Balcan makes plastic packaging and films for industrial applications. Its can package food and beverage products or building materials, for example, for shipping.
The Pleasant Prairie facility to serve the U.S. market could manufacture 15 million pounds of finished product in its first full year, according to a village of Pleasant Prairie staff report.
Lister outlined several reasons the company opted for Kenosha County. It needs a building with direct access to railroads, since its raw materials are shipped to its factories by train. The Pleasant Prairie building at 7201 108th St. satisfied that criteria. He said the company also is comfortable it will find the workforce it needs for the manufacturing operation.
“It’s a high-quality building in a very robust industrial park that gives us easy access to rail and also easy access to ways to ship our products out via truck,” Lister said.
Balcan worked with officials from the village and Kenosha Area Business Alliance on the project, Lister said. He declined comment on whether their investment would receive any public subsidy.
“We have found them to be very pro-business and eager to attract good, quality manufacturing jobs to the area,” he said.
Balcan bought the Pleasant Prairie building from manufacturer Mondi Akrosil LLC. Mondi in September 2020 issued a notice of plant closing with the state of Wisconsin to shutter that facility and permanently lay off its 108 employees.
Pleasant Prairie administrator Nathan Thiel issued a printed statement welcoming Balcan to the community.
“The company had several options around the nation, but ultimately selected our community, which will result in manufacturing jobs and enhance the use of an existing building,” Thiel said.
Read more at the Milwaukee Business Journal.