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Expanding here, Shorewood to close Indianapolis plant

Henderson County's gain was Indiana's loss last week when ASG-Shorewood announced that it would expand its East Flat Rock plant.

The company, which prints paper packaging for DVDs and dozens of well-known consumer products, announced on Jan. 14 that it would invest $8.6 million and add 50 jobs as it enlarges the East Flat Rock plant. Two days later, the company announced that it would shutter a plant that had been operating in Indianapolis since the early 1970s. The plant closure would affect 161 employees, the company said.

"Indianapolis is one of five ASG litho paperboard plants in the Americas, and to stay competitive, ASG is taking the steps necessary to most efficiently fulfill customer demand across our platform," ASG Americas CEO Mark Caines said in a news release.


Employment has been falling at the Indianapolis Shorewood plant over the last several years, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. The plant had 340 employees in 2007 when it installed modern Heidelberg Speedmaster presses as part of a plant upgrade, the Business Journal said. The Indianapolis plant is unionized by the United Steelworkers. The East Flat Rock plant is not unionized.

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development worked with ASG-Shorewood to apply for economic incentives. The Board of Commissioners on Jan. 6 authorized $186,669 in incentives through property tax rebates for the company. The state Department of Commerce gave the company a $60,000 grant through its One North Carolina fund.

"This expansion signifies an optimistic future for our company and is a reflection of the extremely talented workforce here," Bob Lennon, vice president, supply chain and general manager of ASG, said in a news release. "This facility continues to demonstrate an unrivaled customer focus and drive for continuous improvement. Our work gives us tremendous pride. We have the opportunity to be involved in packaging solutions for the world's most recognizable consumer products which often include household headache medication, toothpaste containers, even specialty-embossed Blu-ray ™ disc covers," said Bob Lennon, vice president, supply chain and general manager of ASG.

The expansion is expected to add new jobs with average wages of more than $40,000 per year, surpassing the county's annual average of $34,528. New jobs will include positions in the plant's pressroom, die cutting, gluing, digital pre-press, customer service, production planning and shipping and receiving.
The company agreed to invest $8.55 million in new real property and business personal property over a period of two years to qualify for the tax incentives.

AGI-Shorewood employs nearly 3,000 people worldwide at 18 plants in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and eight service centers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Australia.