Jun 07, 2023

Corrugated sheets, digital printing manufacturer to expand presence in Santa Teresa

By Matthew Narvaiz / Journal Staff Writer Published: Thursday, June 8th, 2023 at 10:31AMUpdated: Thursday, June 8th, 2023 at 10:38AM

A manufacturer that specializes in corrugated sheets and digital printing services for the box-making industry is expanding its presence in Southern New Mexico with the help of state and local incentives.

Franklin Mountain Packaging, which already has operations in Santa Teresa, says it has signed a lease to construct a 150,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its current location at 401 Avenida Ascencion.

The company's expansion is aided by a state boost of $500,000 from the Local Economic Development Act fund and an additional $150,000 from the NM Borderplex Closing Incentive, which is managed by the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico.

"The joint efforts on the Santa Teresa border crossing between the state of New Mexico and the state of Chihuahua are also moving the needle," Franklin Mountain Investments CEO Paul Foster said. "Together, these investments and efforts will continue to foster economic growth in the area."

The company expects to hire an additional 60 employees over the next three years to expand its total headcount in New Mexico to 155. But it isn't clear when the expansion will be completed.

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Franklin Mountain's expansion in Santa Teresa comes as it plans to ramp up output of its manufacturing for the box-making industry. The company operates just one of two quantum corrugators — a machine that brings together sheets of paper for wall board — in North America.

It also has a high-speed, single-pass digital printer that allows for high-quality printing of graphics on corrugated sheets and die-cutting capabilities at its location in Santa Teresa. The expansion will also expand Franklin Mountain's die-cutting and finishing capabilities.

Either way, Franklin Mountain's expansion in Santa Teresa comes as the area has seen an increase in commercial traffic at the border crossing. The state in a news release said the Santa Teresa port of entry hit doubled its truck processing output over the past two years, and in 2022 saw more than 160,000 trucks processed.

That traffic has been anchored by expansions of companies into the area recently. In early May, for instance, Louisiana Pepper Exchange, based in New Orleans, and Oro LLC, a food processing company, said they planned to move into the area.

The growth of Santa Teresa has been a point of pride for the state's Economic Development Department. EDD Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes said "businesses are taking advantage of the logistical and cost advantages of doing business along New Mexico's international border as they invest in more robust and resilient transportation networks and supply chains."

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