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Michigan City Paper Box Co. investing in its plant

Michigan City Paper Box Co. is investing in its plant.

The 115-year-old Michigan City Paper Box Co. is investing nearly $500,000 in its operations in Michigan City.

Michigan City is giving the company a tax abatement of about $29,000 as an incentive for the investment, which is expected to preserve about eight jobs.

“We appreciate the council’s support over the years in granting similar tax abatements which have helped us increase our manufacturing capabilities and substantial growth," Michigan City Paper Box Co. CEO Al Hoodwin said. "This equipment is crucial in helping us continue to remain competitive in our industry."

The company, which was founded by Albert K. Hoodwin in 1904, is the oldest manufacturer in Michigan City.

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Originally a producer of manufacturing punch boards, push cards and seal cards for local manufacturers, it switched to high-end satin-lined boxes for jewelry in the 1940s when punch cards lost their popularity. Evolving with the times, Michigan City Paper Box Co. now supplies packaging worldwide to upscale retailers like Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, Gap, Coldwater Creek and Banana Republic, as well as to Kohl's, Walmart and Uline.

The now highly automated factory at 1206 Pine St. describes itself as "the premier manufacturer of cotton-filled jewelry boxes in the world." It also produces custom set-up boxes, mailing boxes, ring boxes and boxes for e-commerce.

In 2016, the company invested $1.2 million to install two high-speed box wrappers with automatic lidding machines and other equipment.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.