Western Industries Corporation will relocate to Hutto, add jobs

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Hutto’s Innovation Business Park will have a new tenant by mid-summer.

The Austin branch of Western Industries Corporation, or WIC, announced plans April 4 to relocate to Hutto, leasing 79,000 square feet of Titan Development’s first spec building at Innovation Business Park.

“We’re Hippos now,” Louis Morelli, chief operating officer of WIC said at an April 4 Hutto City Council meeting. “We’re excited to be in Hutto.”

WIC is a manufacturing company that creates packaging products. The company plans to begin operations at the new Hutto facility in July, according to a press release.

“WIC joins a list of new businesses choosing Hutto given our open-for-business philosophy, easy access to major markets, and a large, educated workforce,” Hutto City Manager Odis Jones said.

WIC will invest more than $3 million in the facility, according to the release. The company plans to expand from 75 jobs currently to 145 jobs, Morelli said at the meeting. In a deal reached Thursday night and approved by the Hutto City Council, the city will provide a 20% ad valorem property tax abatement for 10 years.

“We are excited about the relocation of our operation to such a business friendly and cost- effective environment,” James Robertson, CEO for Western Industries said in the release. “For the past four decades, we have built long lasting partnerships by consistently exceeding our customer’s needs, and we now look forward to growing our business in Hutto.”

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, WIC has operated a manufacturing facility in Austin for over 25 years. WIC also operates manufacturing facilities in Dallas, Wichita, Kansas, and Reynosa, Mexico. The Hutto relocation only impacts the Austin facility.

Western Industries Corporation will join Paradigm Metals and BryComm, two Austin-based businesses that are also relocating to Hutto.

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  1. Why should the taxpayers of Hutto provide any company that makes something as mundane as packaging products with a 20% ad valorem property tax abatement for 10 years? I don’t see much value in a bunch of new factory jobs in an already ridiculously tight job market, and adding to the traffic congestion. That just makes it all the more expensive and difficult for already established Hutto businesses to attract and retain good workers. Property taxes support the local schools. Who is going to support the schoolchildren of these factory workers if the factory isn’t paying their fair share? Do factory worker’s children not go to school? Hutto being “open for business” is one thing, but giving away our tax money for corporate welfare is entirely another. I think Hutto city officials need to reexamine their priorities.

    • Dear taxpayer, we will be adding job opportunities to the Hutto Community. In addition, we are committed to provide financial support to local community groups. First, and foremost, will be to the local Boy Scouts of America group that were present this evening to raise the flag of the United States of America, the flag of the great state of Texas, and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance of America, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the State Flag. Our employees and I will be eating at Hutto restaurants, buying goods from your local stores, and frequent hotel stays. We have asked our current employees to look at relocation of residence to Hutto. We are already in contact with local staffing companies to hire employees. Support the Hippos and Hutto HS athletics: I will be in contact with the City of Hutto and the high school on being a local sponsor. Western Industries Corporation is a family owned business, and has its employees and families best interests in mind, in line with the values of the City of Hutto. If you have any recommendations on how we can be a positive contributor to your community please contact me. Respectfully, Don

      • Dear Taxpayer, after re-reading you comment, one comment struck a note near and dear to my heart: “something as mundane as packaging products”. My degree is in Packaging Engineering, which only a hand-full of institutions provide related degrees. Packaging in is in our daily life. Without it, our economy, quality of life, and existence would not exist without packaging. Foods, consumer goods, medical, aviation, electronics, military, and so on. WIC’s job is not mundane. WIC provides packaging from parts as small as heart vavle leaflet implants, computer racks that support your internet and cell phone service. How about more, oil and gas components, for all us to fill up our cars with gas, air conditioning units to keep us cool or warm, aircraft components to keep us safe in flight, military products to support our troops, and rocket components that travel into space. I would love to provide you a tour of our facility and give you a presentation on packaging. Hope we could then have lunch, shake hands, and be friends. All the best, Don

        • Taxation is theft

          Dear taxpayer – all tax is theft. What exactly is fair share? What level of holding a gun to someone’s head is for the children?

          Also traffic in Hutto is from everyone driving into and back from Austin everyday for work. They moved to Hutto because they can’t afford to live where their jobs are. Creating jobs on Hutto will help the traffic problems.

          Have a great day and remember, taxation is theft.

      • Marty Castillo

        Hoodwinking Hutto city officials to pay less taxes in exchange for promised support of the Boy Scouts was an incredibly well executed strategy to reduce your tax burden, congratulations. Why didn’t I think of that when I first opened my business here?

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.
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