Packaging company expands in Defiance


DEFIANCE — A new $49 million manufacturing facility has been announced in the city.

APackaging Group, which develops, manufactures and packages cosmetics and beauty products, has announced plans to expand. The California-based company is expected to hire 135 people to produce up to 500 million plastic dispensing pumps for the health and beauty industries.

As the personal care industry is in high demand for more sustainable solutions, APG is putting in additional plans and efforts to manufacture sustainable packaging options in Defiance. APG’s efforts will greatly reduce their carbon footprint in the beauty world while still maintaining quality.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a Job Creation Tax Credit for the company, which has also received a Workforce Grant from JobsOhio.

Vice President of Operations John Allen said the company, in its site search, was looking for a rural community with a strong labor force and community support.

“We found that here,” said Allen, “plus, logistically, we have U.S. 24 right near the facility and a rail spur backside, giving us a great asset in purchasing power for raw materials.”

The attraction of APG also garnered significant attention as an on-shoring project to Northwest Ohio. The company said key customers were now requiring product manufacturing back in the U.S. For APG, it was a seamless transition, allowing the company to reinvest in its key assets of technology and people.

“APG Packaging could have chosen to put this factory anywhere in the world, but they chose Ohio,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “This facility will on-shore manufacturing from China to Defiance, serving as an example to the world of the competitive advantages of moving operations from overseas to Ohio.”

In siting its first U.S. manufacturing facility, APG will move into a new 80,000 square-foot spec building, which was constructed by NAI Harmon Group. NAI Harmon began construction of the building last fall, even though an end user had yet to be identified. The Harmon Group has long recognized an insufficiency of site product in the Northwest Ohio marketplace, a shortage which has led to missed opportunities for potentially attracting new business over the years.

But the company, with a commitment and passion for Northwest Ohio, has become more aggressive in recent years with spec building construction in order to better entice businesses to the region.

“When site selectors come into Northwest Ohio, they want to see a finished product which they can recommend to their clients,” said Ed Harmon, CEO of NAI Harmon, noting that companies no longer want to wait 18-to-24 months for new construction.

Understanding that need for product, as Harmon did, was also shared by JobsOhio, the state’s lead entity in driving job creation across Ohio. The organization last year unveiled a new program to fill gaps in Ohio’s real estate inventory. The Ohio Site inventory Program offers grants and low-interest loans to support speculative site and building development projects.

Through OSIP, NAI Harmon received a $2.6 million loan and a $565,000 grant to assist in the development of the spec building.

APG’s Allen, who expects to begin operations in Q1 2022, emphasized the importance of the spec building, noting approaching deadlines to begin manufacturing. “Working with the Harmon Group, they were willing to expedite construction of the building to get us in there as soon as possible,” he said, adding that discussions have already started for the potential addition of 40,000 square feet.