Capitalizing on a strong Midwestern work ethic and creating “green collar” jobs, Pratt Paper Indiana, LLC is the newest and most cost-competitive paper mill in the container-board industry in North America. Now approaching its second anniversary in Valparaiso, Pratt continues to push the capabilities of the new mill. This year with its 120 employees, the mill is on track to produce 360,000 tons of recycled paper for the burgeoning box industry. In keeping with Pratt’s model of locating a mill next to its box-making plant, Pratt, a $250 million facility that opened in October 2015, is anchored next to Pratt Industries Valparaiso, its largest supplier. “Together, we employ 450 people, representing the largest employer in Valparaiso,” said GM Jay Hennessey. Recycled fiber comes into the plant, and is processed into jumbo rolls, then cut down into 300 customer rolls per day, each weighing 3.5 tons, and prepared for shipment next door, as well as other Midwest box producers. Now in his second startup, Hennessey said the Valpo plant is making paper at least 30% faster and 15% more efficient through its state-of-the-art operation. Weekly, Kathy Neary, Ivy Tech Workforce Alignment consultant, meets with employees to counsel their careers and encourage lifelong learning.