Making the Impossible Possible at Former Neenah Paper Mill in Vermont (

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.'”
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