BEAR RIVER CITY, Box Elder County — An area of northern Utah hit especially hard during the Great Recession has a reason to celebrate as Box Elder County welcomed 200 new jobs Wednesday.

Global household products maker Procter & Gamble Co. officially opened its first manufacturing facility built in the United States in 40 years.

The 600,000 square foot plant sits on a 720-acre site and is the sixth in the company's towel/tissue operations. It stands adjacent to a 400,000 square foot distribution center that began operations in April 2010. The total cost of the combined project was approximately $300 million.

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"We chose Box Elder for many reasons, including availability of appropriate land and space, its location relative to areas that we most need to ship to, availability of natural resources and skilled workforce, and a strong partnership with state and local leaders," said Procter & Gamble spokesman John McKay.

He said the completion of the project marks the culmination of the company's plans for establishing a manufacturing and distribution presence in the region.

Based in Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble manufactures a wide range of consumer goods and employs approximately 138,000 workers in 80 countries, producing more than 40 recognizable brands.