Georgia-Pacific is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of tissue, pulp, paper, toilet and paper towels and paper packaging and has one of its most significant manufacturing operations in Northeast Florida. Their Palatka plant produces familiar consumer brands like Brawny®, Sparkle®, and private label paper towels; Angel Soft® and private label bath tissue; kraft paper used for recyclable mailers, grocery bags; butcher paper; and linerboard used to make corrugated boxes.
Shortly after opening in 1947, the facility quickly became the state’s largest producer of facial and bathroom tissue and has produced other products including gummed paper tape and kraft paper used to make grocery bags and sacks. That growth and success has been fueled by more than $1.2 billion of capital investment in the area from Georgia-Pacific since 2002.
“There are a variety of attributes that allow us to thrive in Northeast Florida,” said Chris Gent, head of strategic communications & public affairs at Georgia-Pacific. “Chief among them are its strategic location globally, business-friendly environment, overall quality of life and a rich talent pool.”
That talent pool is representative of reputable area educational institutions, including universities and colleges. With several top-tier universities within three hours of their facility, Georgia-Pacific often collaborates with local businesses to develop programs that align with their needs, ensuring a pipeline of qualified graduates.
The Jacksonville region offers several initiatives and resources to help companies fill their talent needs,” added Gent. “Beyond our work with the schools, the region has workforce development programs and partnerships that focus on training and upskilling the local workforce. These programs provide opportunities for individuals to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications we need to keep moving forward.
Given its long-standing history in the region, Georgia-Pacific is heavily invested in local education foundations and civic organizations to partnerships with local charitable organizations and nonprofits. They support the African-American Cultural Arts Council, ARC of Putnam County, Bread of Life, Habitat for Humanity, Keep Putnam Beautiful, Lee Conlee House, Rodeheaver Boys’ Ranch, United Way and many others.
“We contribute to causes that help address social and economic challenges within the community,” added Gent. “In addition, Georgia-Pacific has developed and funded an advanced manufacturing academy in three Putnam County high schools. It also helped create an advanced manufacturing degree track at St. Johns River State College, with an interactive laboratory, at its Orange Park campus. By supporting local nonprofits, organizations, and initiatives, we believe we can have a direct and positive impact on the lives of individuals and families in the community.”
Northeast Florida provides numerous economic benefits for companies and executives considering expanding or relocating their business. The region’s strategic location offers easy access to transportation networks, facilitating efficient distribution. With a diverse and growing economy, businesses can tap into various industries and collaborate with a skilled workforce. Additionally, the cost of doing business in Northeast Florida is competitive, with favorable tax climates and affordable real estate options. Beyond economic advantages, the region offers a high quality of life, including a mild climate, beautiful beaches and a vibrant arts and culture scene. These factors make the Jacksonville region an appealing destination for companies and executives seeking to maximize their potential for success.