A polyethylene bag manufacturer that specializes in zip-closure packaging for cotton balls and pads is moving from one New Mexico location to another and doubling the size of its manufacturing operation.
USC Bag Manufacturing LLC received approval from Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, N.M., village trustees Sept. 12 for its planned 60,000-square-foot facility, which co-founder and president Elliot Berger said is expected to open in the first quarter of 2013.
“They gave it unanimous approval. This thing is going to happen,” he said in an Oct. 13 telephone interview.
Berger in 2005 co-founded USC Bag with US Cotton LLC in Albuquerque. The Gastonia, N.C.-based cotton company supplies products to the major North American drugstore chains, and wanted to decrease the number of its bag suppliers from five to one, according to Berger.
Since 2008, both USC Bag and US Cotton have been under the ownership of Parkdale Mills Inc. of Gastonia.
USC Bag's current plant is 27,000 square feet, Berger said. The cost of the expansion is $11 million, including installation of a second printing press and a regenerative oxidizer to clean the air leaving the drying systems of the presses.
In addition to eight-color printing 24 hours a day, five days per week, USC Bag forms and heat- seals bags 20 hours daily, four days a week, according to expansion plans filed with Los Rancho and Bernalillo County.
The expansion would enable the company to operate 24 hours, seven days a week, Berger said. The number of employees would increase from 26 to as many as 59 over the next 10 years.
The state of New Mexico has pledged $500,000 to aid the project and USC Bag is seeking $12 million in industrial revenue bonds to fund it.
In addition to making bags for US Cotton, USC Bag manufactures packaging for fruit, tortillas and other grocery products, Berger said.