WestRock Breaks Ground on $97 Million Jackson Parish Paper Mill Expansion and Modernization
[ Article was originally posted on www.opportunitylouisiana.com ]
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the start of construction Wednesday on a $97 million project to expand and modernize the WestRock Company paper mill, a major employer and driver of economic activity in Jackson Parish since it began operations in 1928.
The investment in construction of a new woodyard and new equipment will increase capacity and efficiencies and reduce operating costs at the facility, the company said. It comes on the heels of the recently completed five-year modernization plan that the company announced in 2017. WestRock employs more than 450 people with an annual payroll of more than $44 million in north Louisiana.
“WestRock’s latest investment in this facility is an investment in the workers of north Louisiana and the rural revitalization of our state,” Gov. Edwards said at a groundbreaking ceremony attended by company executives and state, regional and local government and business leaders in Hodge. “These critical upgrades ensure the long-term viability of a facility responsible for more than 450 direct jobs and hundreds more indirect jobs in Jackson Parish. We’re grateful for the company’s continuing commitment to Louisiana’s workers, to our rural communities, and to the growth and diversification of our timber industry.”
The Hodge mill, situated on a 1,700-acre site, was operated by Rock-Tenn Company until the company merged with MeadWestvaco in 2015 to form WestRock. The multinational paper and packaging solutions manufacturer has 320 locations employing 50,000 employees in 30 countries. Its Hodge facility produces high-quality container board that is used in manufacturing corrugated containers.
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