WAXAHACHIE — For the past 30 years, WestRock has played its role in the City of Waxahachie industrial base. However, come September, the company will shutter operations.
The closure will leave 145 manufacturing workers without jobs, as the company plans to consolidate its resources.
“Our plans are to end all production, sales and shipments from that plant by Sept. 9. It is just a strategic decision that is based on analysis of the capabilities of our facilities, the capacity that we have and where we produce similar products,” WestRock Director of Corporate Communications John Pensec said. “What we are doing here is consolidating that work into other facilities.”
Pensec stated that the move, after looking at the company’s manufacturing network and how it can be optimized, it would allow WestRock to remain competitive in the market.
The closing of the Waxahachie plant will not affect the customers WestRock serves.
“We will maintain our commitment to our customers and the same level of service. What we are doing is consolidating that work and moving it to other locations,” Pensec said. “As part of that transition, we will make sure that the quality and service will remain what our customers expect.”
The manufacturing plant in Waxahachie opened its doors in 1987 as RockTenn. The company’s website states that WestRock manufacturers a variety of products that include containerboard, corrugated containers, folding cartons, partitions and protective packaging. The Waxahachie plant produces folded boxes for food and beverages.
WestRock plans to put the facility up for sale following the closure
Pensec explained that the 145 employees had been given notice about the closure and they can apply to transfer to other WestRock facilities. The WestRock website states that the company has four facilities in Dallas and one in Fort Worth.
Waxahachie Director of Economic Development Doug Barnes said any time a business or industry closes it is a loss for the community. He noted that WestRock had been a good employer, as well as a good corporate citizen and asset to the community for many years.
“Anytime you have an industry with that many employees it affects other entities. We have heard that for every manufacturing job in the community the value of the job turns over seven times in the community. So, undering those circumstances, that would be a huge impact on this community. That is why it is important to try to put another industry in that facility out there,” Barnes said. “One of the things that we are doing is that we have talked with a realtor that is involved in industrial recruiting. We are hoping that in the short term we will have an industry that would be looking to relocate and would come to Waxahachie.”