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Jackson Paper adding 61 jobs in Sylva

Stonewall Packaging LLC, a joint venture of Jackson Paper Manufacturing Co., announced today that it will invest more than $17 million to build a new facility in Sylva for the production of recycled cardboard packaging. The investment will result in the creation of 61 jobs over the next three years.

“We are so pleased to be establishing this new operation in Sylva and bringing additional jobs to Jackson County,” said Timothy L. Campbell, president and CEO of Stonewall Packaging and Jackson Paper Manufacturing Co. “The venture, which allows us to expand and capitalize on the great work we’re already doing at Jackson Paper, is a reflection of our continued commitment to the region.”

Jackson Paper, which currently employs 119, produces 100-percent recycled paper used by independent box manufacturers.

Stonewall is purchasing and renovating the former Chasam Building on Old Scott’s Creek Road,, a 200,000-square-foot former sewing operation located approximately one-half mile from Jackson Paper, to house the cardboard sheet feeder operation. Production is expected to begin there in fall 2009.

In phase two, Stonewall will build a linerboard mill similar to the 139,000-square-foot Jackson Paper mill, including a wood-fired boiler.

Stonewall considered sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee before choosing the Sylva location for its new operation.

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“We chose to build the plant in Sylva because of the infrastructure that is already in place at Jackson Paper and because of the highly skilled workforce and good business climate in the town of Sylva and Jackson County,” said Campbell.

The 61 new jobs will pay an average of $39,344 not including benefits. Jackson County’s average annual wage is $27,820. The company will advertise and hire for the new positions in late summer.

“With our nation facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, this project couldn’t happen at a better time for the citizens of this county,” said Brian McMahan, chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. “This expansion will provide much-needed jobs as well as boosting our local economy by providing opportunities for construction companies, retailers of building goods and supplies, and others. In the future, this project will add to the tax base of Jackson County, which will be a benefit to all the citizens of the county.”

Stonewall worked closely with the town of Sylva, Jackson County government, Southwestern Community College, the N.C. Rural Center, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the N.C. Department of Commerce and Duke Energy on the new venture.

“I’d like to thank Jackson Paper for being willing to make this happen for our community,” said Brenda Oliver, mayor of the Town of Sylva. “They already have been very good corporate partners, and I look forward to a great working relationship with them in the future.”

Today’s announcement is made possible in part by a $200,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state.

“As global markets evolve, North Carolina’s manufacturing sector is keeping pace to take advantage of new opportunities,” said N.C. Governor Bev Perdue. “Companies like this one are investing in green-friendly products while continuing to enjoy our state’s top-rated business climate, skilled workforce and unparalleled quality of life.”

Established in 1995, Jackson Paper Manufacturing Co. is an independently-owned paper mill and is the largest producer of 100-percent recycled paper in the state of North Carolina.

“During these tough economic times, it’s critical to continue to make investments that will grow jobs in our state,” said state Sen. John Snow, D-Murphy.

“We must continue to build on our successful partnerships so that North Carolina will be well positioned when the nation’s economy turns around,” said state Rep. Phil Haire, D-Sylva.

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