Kristina Slattery
Kristina Slattery
Business Development

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

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Andy Beshear
Old Capitol Annex
300 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601
Jeff Noel
For Immediate Release
Brandon Mattingly

Gov. Beshear Joins Pratt Industries To Open $500 Million Paper Mill in Henderson, Creating Over 320 Well-Paying Jobs Across 2 Facilities

$500 million project marks largest investment in the region in more than 25 years

HENDERSON, Ky. (Sep. 14, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined officials with Pratt Industries in Henderson to officially open the company’s new $500 million paper mill and box factory, which will create over 320 well-paying jobs across two facilities and serves as the largest investment in the region in more than 25 years.

“I want to congratulate Pratt Industries on this newest milestone in Henderson,” said Gov. Beshear. “The quality job opportunities for hundreds of Kentucky residents this project is bringing to the region is something to celebrate. Pratt Industries is a perfect fit for the Henderson community, and I want to thank Anthony Pratt and his team for their commitment to the commonwealth.”

In December 2021, Pratt broke ground on the first of two facilities that will total 1.15 million square feet of space along Kentucky Highway 425 in Henderson County. Earlier that year, the company announced a $400 million investment, which has since grown to $500 million to support the construction of a 500,000-square-foot box factory. It will produce corrugated sheet and boxes, including pizza boxes and packaging for major distributors and big box stores, with paper sourced from the new state-of-the-art, 650,000-square-foot paper mill, which produces 100% recycled paper. The new location expands Pratt’s footprint in the commonwealth, which currently includes a Pratt Display manufacturing plant established in Hebron in 2011, which employs over 200 Kentuckians.

“This is a very proud day for our company because this investment represents a major part of my recent pledge to the United States Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, to invest $5 billion in recycling and clean energy infrastructure in the U.S. over the next 10 years,” said Pratt Industries Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt. “This will help reduce landfill, cut methane gas emissions and create green collar American manufacturing jobs.”

Georgia-based Pratt Industries produces lightweight, high-strength containerboard and corrugated board sourced from 100% recycled paper. The company's operations include paper mills in Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, New York and Ohio. Pratt Industries was established more than 30 years ago and employs more than 10,000 people in nearly 30 states.

Henderson Judge/Executive Brad Schneider showed his excitement for the project: “Congratulations to the entire Pratt team for reaching this amazing milestone. Watching the construction process over these many months has been so interesting. Our community has been impressed with the size and scope of the facilities. But now the next step, getting the mill and corrugator up and running, is even more exciting. Henderson County will continue to help our partners at Pratt with anything they need to solidify and grow their business here. Let’s make some boxes!”

Henderson Mayor Brad Staton spoke on the partnership between Pratt and the Henderson community: “Pratt’s grand opening is truly a testament to what our community can accomplish by working together. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making today possible, and thank you to Pratt for choosing Henderson, Kentucky! We look forward to our continued partnership and success.”

Henderson Economic Development Executive Director Missy Vanderpool mentioned the community’s support of the project and the positive impact the mill will have on Henderson: “It’s incredible to think that only two years ago, we shared news of Pratt Industries’ plans to construct their next ‘millugator’ in Henderson, Kentucky. We’re overjoyed to celebrate its official opening and express our appreciation to Pratt for their commitment and investment in Henderson. The community will feel this investment’s positive impact for many years. We extend our sincerest thanks to Pratt for choosing Henderson, Kentucky.” 

Pratt’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.

Last month, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for July 2023 totaled $1.1 billion, marking the 11th straight month with revenues over $1 billion. The Governor also recently announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund.

The General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 was more than $1.55 billion. Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.

This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 880 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling approximately $27 billion in announced investments. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.

The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. In April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduced its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.

Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings.

Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

For more information on Pratt Industries, visit

A detailed community profile for Henderson County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.


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