Hodge paper mill upgrade saves thousands of jobs

By Greg Hilburn
USA Today
October 18, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

More than 4,000 jobs could be saved by a $200 million expansion of the WestRock paper mill in Hodge in a deal aided by state incentives. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ and his economic development Secretary Don Pierson made the announcement Wednesday at the mill as first reported by USA Today Network. “WestRock’s Hodge mill has played a vital role in the Jackson Parish economy for nearly 90 years,” Edwards said. “We applaud the company for this substantial commitment, which will enhance mill operations and sustain hundreds of jobs in the area for many years to come. The state of Louisiana is happy to assist in securing this important project for North Louisiana.” The plant employs about 450 workers with a $28 million annual payroll, but the mill supports about 3,700 indirect jobs, said state Rep. Jack McFarland, R-Winnfield. The project will be less of an expansion and more of an upgrade to keep the plant competitive, McFarland and state Sen. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, said.

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