Irving Pulp & Paper mill is in the midst of the largest modernization project in Canada since 1993, and yet the daily operation of the mill continues. "We have not had a single break in production,” said Mill Manager, Cory Gallant. "Despite the incredible amount of construction activity on site, we have remained fully functional with over 340 employees producing pulp products every day for markets at home and abroad." Gallant says excellent communication between mill employees and project leaders has made the difference.
A little more than two months ago, a meeting of the minds was called to figure out a way to keep a paper mill in operation.
On Oct. 25, Neenah, the Georgia-based company that bought the formerly named Fibermark in 2015, announced it was shuttering the plant, which would result in the loss of more than 100 good-paying jobs in the Brattleboro area.
“When we got the notice that they were going to close the plant, we rang up Neenah and said we need to chat,” said Adam Grinold, the executive director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. “Our intention for reaching out was we wanted to help them maintain the plant, that we didn’t want to see it close. These jobs are too important.”
The BDCC is a private, non-profit economic development organization, one of 12 regional development corporations around Vermont that functions as “one-stop-shops” for businesses and entrepreneurs seeking access to business support services. The RDCs either provide these services directly, or serve as the conduit to connect businesses to the needed services.
In the case of the BDCC, it directly supported the purchase of the Neenah paper mill by a group of four investors and connected the group with services available at the local, state and federal level.
“Neenah said ‘No,'” said Grinold. “They said the closure is real and that we could give them all the assistance we had available but they are closing the plant. They said ‘The only thing you can do is find a buyer who can close by Dec. 31.'”
read the rest of the story at: https://www.reformer.com/stories/making-the-impossible-possible-at-former-neenah-paper-mill,560894