The Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) recently awarded Crown Beverage Packaging and the City of Olympia the Association’s 2021 Economic Development Award.
Olympia and Crown Beverage were recognized with the Economic Development Project of the Year – Business Retention/Expansion for their partnership on Crown Beverage’s recent expansion. According to WEDA, the Project of the Year celebrates the successful creation of a “creative, economically significant … project in a community.”
“We’re incredibly lucky to have an employer like Crown Beverage Packaging in our community,” said Olympia City Manager Jay Burney. “I know that generations of families in Olympia have worked at the facility and to have Crown decide to re-invest and commit to being a part of Olympia’s future is truly an honor.”
In March 2020, Crown Beverage approached the City of Olympia with the interest of expanding their manufacturing facility. The $70 million project, which is expected to be completed in August 2021, includes adding an additional high-speed 2,800 can-per-minute manufacturing line to better serve both existing and new customers. To accommodate the new line, the project requires a 15,000-square-foot expansion of the facility and upgrades to utilities.
The project is creating 40 new, well-paid positions with benefits, including mechanics, palletizer operators and forklift drivers, and will also retain the existing 118 Full-Time Equivalent jobs currently at the plant.
“The investment that the company has made in the Olympia plant represents the faith and dedication Crown has in its employees,” said Tony Ellison, Plant Superintendent at Crown Beverage Packaging in Olympia. “This project provides the opportunity for the oldest and most efficient facility in the North American Beverage division to stay relevant and maintain operations for many years to come.”
WEDA recognized the effort not only because of the significance of the project, but also because this substantial expansion was executed in the backdrop of the COVID pandemic.
“I’m very proud of the City staff and Crown representatives for pulling together at such a difficult time during 2020 to advance such an important project. Retaining and growing great jobs in manufacturing helps keep our economy strong,” said Mike Reid, City of Olympia Economic Development Director.
The Thurston Economic Development Council and the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce have both been active in helping Crown expand its workforce.
“This project represents a significant investment into our region’s economy. Crown’s investment is not just an investment into the operations of the plant, but it is a commitment to the environment in upgrades, an investment into the region’s economy, and creates long term employment opportunities for families,” said Michael Cade, executive director of the Thurston Economic Development Council. “It is a continuation of their long-time significant role in our economy, and we are proud to have Crown in our community.”
For more information about potential job opportunities go to https://www.crowncork.com/