Dart Container Expansion Jobs & technology innovation come to the Greater Lansing area

The Dart Container Corporation (Dart Container) has provided jobs for mid-Michigan workers since its founding in 1937 by William F. Dart in Monroe, Mich., and a brand new, $40.2 million expansion project of its headquarters will help the company continue that trend, with more than 100 new jobs expected to be added over the next five years.

Currently, Dart Container manufactures various kinds of Solo plastic and foam cups — along with plastic plates, carryout deli boxes, straws and cutlery — to customers worldwide, using raw materials including paper, foam, PET, rigid polystyrene and polypropylene, and sugar cane.

Project to add office space, research center

The new facilities are expected to be operational sometime in 2018. This venture includes:

A two-story, technical and innovation center comprising 80,000 square feet of office space and 170,000 square feet in which new research will be conducted to support prototype packaging solutions.

Renovation and expansion of the company’s tooling and manufacturing processes by more than 100,000 square feet to 330,000 square feet.

According to Dart Container President Jim Lammers, the additional jobs will mostly be in technology, innovation and prototyping. Lammers said the expected new jobs will include slots in engineering, the trades, technical positions and various support positions. 

“Job opportunities will be provided across quite a few different disciplines,” explained Lammers. He added that Dart Container is “committed to mid-Michigan,” because the employees Dart Container attracts and retains from the area have “diverse skills” and “strong work ethics.”

For more information on jobs available at Dart Container, prospective employees can go to the company’s website at dartcontainer.com

Funding provided in part by MEDC grant, local tax abatement

The company’s enlargement is being funded in part by a $1 million Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) grant from the Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP), as well as a tax abatement from Alaiedon Township. MBDP gives monetary assistance to Michigan industries that generate jobs and invest in the state. 

These funds are provided by the Michigan Strategic Fund and administered by the MEDC, which acts as Michigan’s main marketing arm, and its mission is to attract and retain businesses to the Great Lakes State.

“Dart Container’s decision to invest in the Greater Lansing area shows the company’s commitment to the state, as the expected new jobs could have gone to other states, since Florida and Texas were competing with Michigan for similar projects,” said MEDC CEO Jeff Mason.

MEDC is known for providing the business tools needed to grow and thrive, so that Michigan can continue to be competitive in today’s global environment. Projects like Dart Container’s expansion in Mason not only helps bring new and high-tech jobs into the Greater Lansing area: It shows that Lansing’s businesses are continuing to grow their brands and become players in today’s fast-paced world.

Dart Container Has Vibrant History in mid-Michigan

Dart Container has about 15,000 workers around the world, with about 2,000 in the mid-Michigan area working in Mason and at the ink plant in Holt. This new project will bring 136 more jobs — helping to create needed employment for Michigan’s workers. The company also has workers throughout 40 locations in six countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, England and Mexico.

This new expansion project isn’t the first time Dart Container has expanded its operations in mid-Michigan. The company acquired Solo in 2012, which also brought hundreds of new jobs and investment dollars into the state. The Solo acquisition in 2012 and the new expansion plan continue Dart Container’s growth in Mason.

Dart Container’s growth translates into jobs, investment dollars and more money spent on the local economy, such as employees eating at local restaurants during lunchtime, buying items from local retailers and even buying homes. Dart Container employees are vested in their community, known to participate in community service projects like road and river clean-ups, teaching residents about recycling, helping school kids, working and donating at local blood drives, and assisting with local nonprofit organizations like the American Red Cross and Meals on Wheels — just to name a few.

It’s all good news for the city of Mason and the state of Michigan, as the company and its employees work together for the betterment of not just the manufacturing of food and beverage materials, but for the betterment of a cleaner environment. 

All in all, Dart Container has come a long way from the little shop making plastic cases for keys, steel tape measures, ID tags for the military and toys for children, evolving into an innovative company helping the Greater Lansing community cement its place around the world. 

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