UPDATE: August 30, 2018: Green Bay Packaging broke ground Wednesday on a $500 million paper mill, the first new paper mill built in the state in more than 30 years, after selecting Miron Construction, based in Neenah, Wisconsin, as general contractor for the project. Design and construction are expected to generate 1,000 jobs and 1.5 million labor hours.
- Green Bay Packaging, along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, announced a $500 million investment for construction of a new recycled paper mill ($475 million) and an expansion of the company's shipping container division ($25 million), both in the Green Bay area.
- Company officials said the new factory, one of the biggest developments in Wisconsin ever and the largest in the county, will be an environmentally friendly facility that will have a life span of 50 years. The new factory will also allow Green Bay Packaging to remain and grow in Wisconsin and could spur other firms to invest in the state, officials said.
- Construction will likely support 3,000 jobs, provide a $257 million boost to the regional economy and produce about $10 million in extra revenue for the state. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is in talks with Green Bay Packaging about financial help for the project, and the agency could provide up to $60 million in tax breaks. But the company would have to generate permanent jobs first – expected to total 200 – before it receives any state funds.
During the past few years, Walker has been aggressive in bringing new business to Wisconsin, and he and other state officials are willing to have the state to chip in with big money if necessary.
Last year, German candy manufacturer Haribo announced it would build its first North American factory, a $242 million plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Since the first announcement, company and state economic development officials reached an incentive agreement for the 500,000-square-foot facility. The state will give Haribo up to $21 million through credits against state income tax. The total amount of credits depends on the number of jobs the company creates, the amount of material it purchases from Wisconsin-based suppliers, total investment in the project and how much Haribo spends on employee training.
But the state's big score was the $10 billion factory complex Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn is building in Mount Pleasant. Wisconsin is forking over $3 billion in incentives, but, as in the Haribo deal, the company must create 13,000 jobs and invest at least $10 billion into the project in order to receive the promised financial benefits. The 15-year agreement also mandates that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou personally guarantee the arrangement and pay 25% of any amount that has to be refunded to the state.