Making boxes a family affair for Machesney Park packaging business

Local News

MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — In the aftermath of Christmas, you may have a lot of leftover boxes. For most of us, they’re just trash, but there’s a lot of work that goes into ensuring that whatever’s inside the box makes it to you in one piece.

“We really sell service,” says Midwest Packaging co-owner Terry Young.

Young started in the early 1980’s when Midwest Packaging was originally two companies. The man who owned one of those businesses, at that time located in Janesville, hired Young as a consultant.

“I’d been up there two weeks and he asked it it was fixed and I said, ‘Lou, it’s gonna take…it took you years to mess it up. It’s going to take me a little while to fix it.’ And, in which case, I just bought it from him,” Young said.

The business has been with Young ever since.

In 1995, the company merged with a Machesney Park business, and four years later, the two set up shop in the company’s current 150,000 square-foot facility, at 9718 Forest Hills Road.

“We have a wood shop, supplies, and the primary business is custom boxes,” Young said. “We have our own design staff. A person will say, ‘I’ve got this gizmo and I need to ship it,’ and they’ll drop it off and we’ll design a box and it goes from there.”

Young is now semi-retired and is down to working only 7 days a week.

His son, Robert, took over operations in 2012.

“Originally, [I was] just working spring breaks and summers here, at the lowest rung of the company, throwing board, just doing manual labor jobs around here on my breaks, earning a few extra bucks when I had the time,” he said.

That experience helped him build a vision for the company.

“I saw the potential in our home here, in our community, and I really started to understand what kind of niche Midwest Packaging had to play in our wonderful manufacturing community we have here,” Robert said.

“We have big accounts, like Caterpillar down in Peoria, that will drop off things that are used in the Middle East for our military, our brave men and women of the military, and we’re gonna create these huge crates and all these different packaging requirements for these Earthmovers and these tracks and all these different things,” he continued.

Terry Young says the plan for the future is simple: “Keep moving forward and keep focusing on our niche and doing a good job at it.”

Robert said it’s important for the company to be involved in the Rockford community.

The company also sponsors “Stateline Quiz Bowl”, which is seen weekends on WTVO and WQRF-TV.

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