Dart Container Corporation To Undergo Record Expansion

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After more than 50 years of business in Mason, Dart Container is full.

Since buying Illinois-based Solo Cup Company in the spring, its facilities in Mason aren't cutting it anymore.

"We're out of room now," Dart Facilities Engineering Manager John Alfano said. "We have some of our office employees in rented facilities off campus, and right now there's no room on campus for any activities."

That's about to change though, thanks in part to a $3 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Dart Container Corporation is investing $47 million for an expansion that will create more than 300 jobs over the next couple of years. It will also accommodate the Solo Cup acquisition.

"It's going to be huge for Mid-Michigan. It's great to bring these jobs in, 325 after a couple of years," Alfano said. "Then, obviously during the construction there will be several hundred jobs created, short term jobs over the next two years while we do this program."

The expansion will include a 110,000 square-foot office building and a 500,000 square-foot warehouse, that will not only help operations, but also the community.

"They're good corporate citizens, and they work hard to improve the quality of life and the standard of living in our area," Mason Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Doug Klein said. "With the expansion of Dart Container Corporation, it looks like the school district is going to have to plan for more children as well."

The Chamber of Commerce president is also a recruiter at Dart and will work closely with the community when it comes to hiring. They expect the project to have a big impact on Mason and the rest of the state.

"We are a state that is in the process of reinventing," Michael Finney, President and CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said. "The company was very candid in saying that Michigan is a great place for them to do business."

It appears Dart has hit the bulls-eye here.

"We've made a 50-year commitment to Mid-Michigan, and this will go a long way towards signaling that we're here to stay," Alfano said.

Construction on the new facilities is scheduled to begin in the spring, and employees should be working in them by early 2014.

Over the next couple of years they'll be increasing administrative, corporate, engineering, and research and development positions, as well as jobs in the new warehouse.

There are currently more than 40 open positions at Dart. The listings can be found at www.dart.jobs.

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