BEAR RIVER CITY -- Procter & Gamble marked the official grand opening of its Box Elder production and distribution center with a $30,000 donation to Box Elder School District.
"We will continue to take opportunities to make an impact to the community for decades to come," said site leader Joseph Toman, who made the announcement during the company's grand-opening ceremony Wednesday morning.
Procter & Gamble's corporate-wide focus is "Live, Learn and Thrive," and company employees are encouraged to participate in activities that promote that focus, not just at work but in their daily lives as well.
John McKay, the human resources leader at the Box Elder site, was one of 12 employees to volunteer time at Box Elder High School for a recent Challenge Day event, in which members of the community helped students learn about challenges people face to promote understanding.
McKay said this event became the inspiration for a $30,000 grant to the school district.
"We're excited," said district Superintendent Ron Wolff, "first of all to have Procter & Gamble as a business in our community, and to have them as a partner in the education of the students in our county."
Wolff said the school district is strongly leaning toward using the donation to reinstate a summer school program for students who are having a hard time with reading.
Wolff said it costs the school district about $1,700 per teacher for the summer school program. However, he estimated that as many as 255 students throughout the district could benefit directly from the grant.
With Wednesday's ceremony, Procter & Gamble is now fully operational. The company has about 200 employees in Bear River who make both Charmin and Bounty paper products and the associated packaging material.
The Box Elder site also distributes the goods produced there. Construction started on the 1 million-square-foot facility in 2008, and distribution started last year.
Keith Harrison, global product supply officer, said the building was constructed using a breakthrough design that makes people the center of operation and promotes productivity.
Outside, the company worked to maintain the natural landscaping of the area. Inside, special skylights throughout the building make use of natural lighting to cut energy costs and provide a better environment for employees.
Gov. Gary Herbert attended the ribbon-cutting to compliment the company for sharing values that are important throughout Utah. These values are among the things that brought Procter & Gamble to this state.
"We chose the site for many reasons, including availability of appropriate land and space, its location relative to the areas we most needed to ship to, availability of adequate natural resources and the skilled workforce, and a strong partnership with state and local leaders," McKay said.
Now that the production side of the business is up and running, the company will put its emphasis on delivering results and meeting consumer needs.
"We are built to grow," said Laura Lewis, Procter & Gamble's family care external relations manager. "But for now, we need to meet the needs before we decide if and how (to grow.)"