The Dart Foundation, where Ken Dart serves on the Board of Directors, recently awarded a $100,000 grant to the Mason School District in Michigan. The grant will go towards the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program and will be divided into two phases.
The first phase of $67,000 will be used to purchase three or four plasma cutters for the high school. “It will allow us to make different parts and things. Our robotics will be able to make custom parts for our robotics courses,” said Mason High School Teacher Ben Shoemaker.
The second phase of $23,000 will go towards a mobile lab to be used at any of the elementary schools in the district. “We’ll use the mobile lab to create interest in our STEM program early on,” said Superintendent Mark Dillingham. He is hopeful it will spark interest in females specifically since there is only one female currently on the robotics team. “We found that females tend to be less interested in science and math. We want to make sure we capture the imaginations of our young ladies and we think this is one of the ways to do it,” said Dillingham.
The equipment should all be purchased by January 2014.
Dart Container Corporation opened up more than 100 positions recently and in April, hosted a job fair with Capital Area Michigan Works. About 450 people attended the job fair, 190 of which arrived by 9am when the event began.
“We haven’t done this in a long while,” said Andrea Kerbuski, chief communications manager for Capital Area Michigan Works. “It makes sense for us to open up our building for this. We have the space and the staff to do this type of thing.”
The available jobs are in technical fields, such as IT, engineering, accounting, administrative support, and software and manufacturing design. Dart is expanding its world headquarters building and opening a new warehouse. Dreasky expects to hire another 100-150 employees over the next year.
“We had a really great turnout,” said Sherry Dreasky, Dart recruiting manager. “From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., we were on the go. It was invaluable to have that face time with those individuals wanting to know more about Dart.”
Dart Container Corporation is investing $47 million to expand its central manufacturing operations in Mason, Michigan. The expansion is necessary after acquiring Solo Cup Company last year for $315 million along with $700 million in debt. Solo employs 15,000 people in eight countries.
Dart will build a new warehouse facility, corporate headquarters, and expand the buildings on the Alaiedon Township campus. While some of the Solo staff from Chicago will be relocating to the new office buildings, Dart will also be adding 325 jobs through this expansion.
“We are excited about expanding employment opportunities on our Mason campus, where our founders launched our company more than 50 years ago,” said Dart’s executive vice-president and general counsel James Lammers.
Dart Container led a project to use gas recovered from the Conestoga and Lanchester municipal landfills as a source of renewable energy to produce boiler fuel, electricity and steam. Through this initiative, Dart is producing enough energy that would be able to power more than 6,000 homes. Furthermore, the air quality benefits are equal to eliminating the consumption of 54 million gallons of gas per year.
“This is an innovative project that transforms landfill gas into renewable energy benefiting our communities,” said State Senator Mike Brubaker (R-36). “We appreciate Dart Container’s leadership and commitment to create a more sustainable future.”
Since 2004, Dart has invested more than $20 million in this project. Dart originally partnered with Granger Energy Services in 2004 to use gas from the Lanchester landfill to fulfill energy requirements at its Leola plant. In 2008, a pipeline to the Conestoga landfill was added. After this pipeline was added, there were close to 24 miles of landfill gas pipeline that fueled two remote thermal oxidizers, nine boilers, and two oriented polystyrene ovens at the Dart plant. In 2010, Dart added two combustion turbine generators fueled by landfill gas.
“Dart is dedicated to working with partners and finding solutions to common challenges that will help enhance the communities in which we do business,” said Clarence Wenger, Dart Plant Manager. “And the landfill gas to energy cogeneration project is just one of the solutions we’ve worked with the community to launch.”
Dart Container Corporation will be participating at the Great American River Clean Up on September 15th. This is the fifth consecutive year that Dart will provide foam recycling, education and volunteers at the event. The foam recycling drop-off will be located at the Lower Sunrise River Access (South Bridge Street at Sunrise Boulevard) from 9am-12pm. All clean foam products will be accepted, which includes foam cups, foam plates, foam packaging, and foam take-out containers. Recycling these foam products will help divert waste from local landfills and create materials for new products such as crown molding and picture frames.
“We’re honored to partner with the American River Parkway Foundation for a fifth year. It’s a great collaborative effort to help the community clean up one of Sacramento’s most beautiful outdoor spaces, and educate residents about the value of recycling foam,” said Michael Westerfield, Corporate Director of Recycling Programs at Dart Container.
Volunteers from Dart Container’s Lodi manufacturing facility will help pick-up litter from the American River Parkway along a 23-mile stretch of the river. At last year’s Great American River Clean Up, over 2,200 volunteers removed more than 15,000 pounds of debris and trash in only a few hours.
“The Great American River Clean Up continues to make an impact on the Sacramento community, and we’re grateful to have the long-term support of Dart,” said Stacy Springer, Event/Volunteer Coordinator of American River Parkway Foundation. “We appreciate Dart’s dedication to preserving the Parkway and educating the community about recycling foam rather than littering or adding to our landfills.”
Dart Container Corporation announced it reached an agreement to purchase Solo Cup Company. Dart Container is a leading manufacturer of foam cups and other foodservice products. Solo Cup Company manufactures single-use foodservice products as well. The addition of Solo will broaden Dart’s product offerings and the raw materials used.
The transaction is valued at $1 billion. Dart would pay $315 million in cash and assume approximately $700 million of Solo’s debt. The deal is subject to government approval, but is expected to close by the third quarter of this year. Until the deal closes, the companies will operate independently. After they are integrated, Dart does plan to continue selling Solo-branded products, including the red cups.
“Dart Container’s acquisition of Solo will accelerate the progress Solo has made to improve its levels of service and customer support,” said Robert Dart, CEO of Dart Container. “We will use our expertise in running a successful, efficient, reliable and service-oriented company to create an organization that blends the best of both Dart and Solo for the benefit of our customers.”