ROLLA, Mo. — Following the state’s latest jobs report showing Missouri at record employment in April, Gov. Jay Nixon joined local leaders and company officials of Brodrene Hartmann A/S to break ground on and expand the food packaging manufacturer’s new facility in Rolla, marking the company’s first location in the United States. Hartmann’s $30 million-project is expected to create at least 50 new jobs for the area, which the company expects to fill by the start of 2017.
“By choosing to locate their first U.S. facility in Missouri, Hartmann joins a resurgent manufacturing industry that has helped increase employment in the Show-Me State to a record high,” Gov. Nixon said. “Missouri’s highly-skilled workers, central location, and pro-business climate provide a strong foundation for Hartmann to build on its success. I’m proud to welcome this global leader to Missouri as we continue to create good jobs and grow our economy.”
Danish company Brodrene Hartmann is the world’s leading manufacturer of molded-fiber egg packaging and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of machinery for producing molded-fiber packaging. The Governor met with company executives during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year.
Hartmann will add 20,000 sq. ft. to an existing facility in Rolla, bringing its total square footage to 354,000 sq. ft. and representing the initial steps that will soon create dozens of new jobs in the area. The Rolla facility will produce sustainably-made, molded-fiber egg cartons for the U.S. market. Cartons will be made of 100 percent recycled newspaper sourced from the Midwest and distributed nationally.
“Our current activities in Brantford, Canada, have contributed significantly to Hartmann’s growth and profitability in recent years, and with a new factory in Rolla, Missouri, we want to continue positive development,” said Ulrick Kolding-Hartvig, CEO of Brodrene Hartmann, Denmark headquarters. “By increasing production capacity and presence in North America, we will gain access to a larger share of the market and have a solid foundation for expanding the business.”
The company anticipates future growth at its new Rolla location with the potential of doubling its investment in the next five to seven years. Once reaching optimal production, the company expects to recycle 25,000 to 30,000 tons of post- consumer paper per year at the Rolla facility to produce fiber cartons. Hartmann’s customers include major retailers such as Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods as well as small farms.
“I appreciate the State of Missouri, the Missouri Partnership, and the Rolla Regional Economic Commission for their professionalism during the location strategy and final decision-making process,” said Gerry Lavis, President of Hartmann North America. “The central location with improved transportation access from the I-44 corridor and intermodal rail connections in St. Louis and Kansas City will allow us to quickly connect with our customers across the country. Here, we have found an excellent regional manufacturing workforce and a competitive business climate overall, which factored into the final decision to locate to Rolla.”
Hartmann worked closely with its business and real estate advisors at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to conduct the site selection and transaction management. Missouri competed against five Midwest states for Hartmann’s first U.S. manufacturing site. The Missouri Partnership and the Rolla Regional Economic Commission were strong advocates for their respective regions, helping to bring Hartmann to the Rolla location.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based Brodrene Hartmann won a 2014-2015 European Business Award for its efforts in environmental and corporate sustainability. The nearly 100-year old copany employs 2,100 people globally, with operations in Europe, Israel, South America and Canada.
The company plans to begin hiring management and production staff this summer and commence operations at the start of 2017. Among Hartmann’s first hires was Plant Manager Varon Martinez, a U.S. Army veteran based out of Fort Leonard Wood. At today’s event, Gov. Nixon presented the Show-Me Heroes Flag of Freedom award to the company for its commitment to recruiting Missouri’s military men and women seeking civilian employment.
Launched in 2010 by Gov. Nixon, Show-Me Heroes has to date connected more than 4,700 employers with more than 8,200 of Missouri’s highly skilled veterans and service members. Interested businesses are encouraged to take the pledge at showmeheroes.mo.gov.
To assist Hartmann with its new Missouri-based operations, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation criteria.