Augusta Economy

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International Paper shutting down one of three Augusta machines

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:52 AM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 9:56 AM
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One of Augusta’s largest industrial employers is downsizing.

International Paper on Tuesday announced that it will eliminate 75 positions at its Augusta mill when it shuts down one of its three paperboard production lines next month.

The move is prompted by a global slowdown in demand, said Greg Gibson, the vice president of International Paper’s coated paperboard business.

“The projected growth of global coated paperboard supply, coupled with slower growth in the demand for our products, has
made it necessary to permanently reduce our manufacturing footprint,” Gibson said.

The paperboard production machine, running since the 1960s, is the smallest in the system, which includes sister plants in Riegelwood, N.C., and Texarkana, Texas. It produces about 140,000 tons of coated paperboard annually, which is used to make folding cartons and packaging liners.

The shutdown will reduce the capacity of the Mike Padgett Highway mill by about 20 percent, said Sa­man­tha Hood, the company’s communications manager.

“It is 75 positions, but it will not be 75 people. We have some open positions that we won’t be filling,” Hood said. The company is also hoping retirements will satisfy the job elimination.

“The decision to shut down Augusta’s No. 2 machine is difficult because of the impact it will have on good, hard-working people who have been our valued colleagues,” Gibson said. “This decision will enable us to more efficiently balance our production with current and projected customer demand.”

Hood said the Augusta mill will continue to employ more than 700 people. The other two production machines will continue to operate at capacity.

“We are well-positioned for the future, and we’re still going to have two great low-cost machines,” Hood said.

Plans are to permanently shut down the line by the end of Febru­ary, but the machine will not be dismantled.

“We’re going to do everything we can in the next 30 days to shut it down the right way, intact, in the event that we would repurpose it in the future,” Hood said.

The facility has been in Au­gusta for 52 years and was acquired by International Pa­per in 1996.

International Paper, based in Memphis, Tenn., employs about 70,000 people in more than 24 countries. It will release its quarterly earnings Jan. 29.

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soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 01/22/13 - 12:00 pm
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countyman will find them jobs at Wally World or
Unpublished

a call center, nail shop, hair do shop or a local government job. Have no fear, "countyman is here". Not high paying manufacturing jobs which are too complicated and less prone to political control and kick backs.

How many did we loose at P&G? Olin?

Ah, the days of the "Committee of One Hundred".

my.voice
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my.voice 01/22/13 - 12:07 pm
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6
Mr Obama says our country is

Mr Obama says our country is recovering. He must mean the country he was born in, not the USA.

crackerjack
150
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crackerjack 01/22/13 - 12:34 pm
11
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Layoffs

Hope the HR Dept. makes sure to get the owners of vehicles with Obama 2012 on their bumpers first.

countyman
19731
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countyman 01/22/13 - 12:53 pm
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I really do feel bad for the

I really do feel bad for the employees..

This makes the upcoming announcements even more positive now... Luckily the city of Augusta has multiple developments on the way...

Myvoice & Crackerjack... Augusta and the metro area will do better in 2013 compared to 2012.

single parent
395
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single parent 01/22/13 - 01:35 pm
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14
Hmmm

I think 8 Presidents were not born in the USA or actual citizens, out of those 8 we got our constitution and the extermination of a race, Really ? We can find the red in the color red through investigation and you really think that Obama was not born in a US citizen? 5 years and still the same crap. I say again I would love to see anyone else do that job following what was left to fix. It is not the blame game it is the facts YOU CAN NOT REPAIR A BURNT TO THE GROUND HOUSE! Even if J Mc Cain would have been in there same thing would have happen except worse IE Military guy that thinks attack and war is always the answer. The shutdown is a business decision because resources are not there to keep it running, less trees, and so forth. Less jobs because of more people. So unless some miracle happens our situation will not change no matter whom is in office! I'm certainly not giving up my meger $160k to make anybody feel good.

MarinerMan
2107
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MarinerMan 01/22/13 - 01:40 pm
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Wish I Remembered
Unpublished

I wish I remembered what grades were made on #2. I spent 13 years @ Augusta Mill. Mostly during the good times -- Federal Paper Board. Was there when IP came to town. Kept us around until they didn't need our knowledge any more. Since the paper machine workers are Union, I don't think Obama is going to like, getting rid of some of his voters. But to be honest, it is not the same place, once IP came to town. I still know a few people that are still there, and I feel sorry for the ones that will lose their job. I wonder why they are shutting down #2. Wish they had provided more information. IP had threatened to shut the whole mill down, a few years ago. In the Federal days, Augusta was the most profitable mill in the fleet. Then IP came to town. Federal Paper Board was a great company, with totally INEPT board of directors. A real shame. Hang tough guys !!!

MarinerMan
2107
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MarinerMan 01/22/13 - 01:50 pm
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@Single Parent
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If it is not the blame game, then why has this administration BLAMED Bush for all ills ? Also, for FIVE years. The "Fair and Affordable Housing Act", created by Democrats caused the entire collapse. A legal secretary in Atlanta, with three kids, making $60K, and being given an adjustable rate mortgage for a $300K house -- that's absurd ! This act is what created the assembly of the bad loan portfolios that were sold as "investments", knowing full well that over three-fourths of the mortgages withing the package would fail.

Fiat_Lux
15111
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Fiat_Lux 01/22/13 - 02:34 pm
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Mariner, don't confuse Single Parent with the facts

S/he's swallowed the Kool Aid and his/her opinion is completely solidified. S/he's now part of the OBorg.

But how s/he can call $160K "meager", I don't really understand, unless s/he living way beyond that. Perhaps it was just boasting.

bclicious
676
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bclicious 01/22/13 - 02:45 pm
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5
CHANGE!!!

This must be some more of that "CHANGE" that Obama and his supporters were talking about!

GiantsAllDay
9410
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GiantsAllDay 01/22/13 - 02:51 pm
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I hope the impact to the

I hope the impact to the community are minimal.

David Parker
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David Parker 01/22/13 - 02:54 pm
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There is simply too much

There is simply too much unecessary paper when you buy a burger wrapped in paper that is put in a paper-box, then it's put in a paper bag (not to mention all the ingredients came in seperate paper-packaging to be reassembled onsite).

Then there is the age we live in. Digital doesn't require paper. It's bound to happen so attributing the layoffs to the economy and Mister President is irresponsible. If it's just the fact that we want to keep the jobs whether there is a need for it or not, then it's not capitalism but something else?

I am disappointed as I'm sure alot of folks were back when Sibley closed. And one day Mister Pollard may close up shop as well and folks will try to blame the party/president in office.

Little Lamb
45313
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Little Lamb 01/22/13 - 02:59 pm
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Total Jobs

The only statistic that the regime feeds to the press is the "official" unemployment percentage, a number that is rife with manipulation. Seldom discussed are the ramifications of the overall loss of jobs since the peak in 2008. Total U.S. jobs continues to decline, even as the fudged unemployment rate bounces up and down.

I'm glad Wal-Mart is planning to hire some of the service personnel who will be discharged in the coming years. That will help the unemployment rate number temporarily; but it won't help America get free of the shackles of fascism locked on our ankles by the narcissist in chief.

MarinerMan
2107
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MarinerMan 01/22/13 - 04:29 pm
5
2
Not Willing to Invest
Unpublished

@David Parker - Unless things have really changed, #2 used to produce lightweight board like your "burger box". What this tells me is that IP is not willing to INVEST @ this point in time, to rebuild #2 to produce a different caliper range of paperboard. That decision is based on the current state of the economy. The current administration has SPENT entirely too much stimulus money that has made their buddies rich, and not created many/any jobs. If the economic climate improves, you could see #2 brought back to life. At this point in time, I do blame our current president for that wasteful spending. Sixteen trillion dollars is a lot of money. And he's going to ask that the Debt Ceiling be raised so he can spend more.

oneofthesane
2201
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oneofthesane 01/22/13 - 05:04 pm
1
1
If the house was burned to the ground 5 years ago, what are we..
Unpublished

in now? Hell??? sometimes people make it really easy to understand their decided forum name.

grinder48
1888
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grinder48 01/22/13 - 05:24 pm
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1
Wrong Focus
Unpublished

Our reps need to quit focusing on useless things like gun control and get back to focusing on creating jobs. This is ridiculous, people need jobs!

Riverman1
82398
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Riverman1 01/22/13 - 05:55 pm
7
1
I've always heard those were

I've always heard those were good jobs at IP. I'm sorry for those folks losing their jobs.

walrus4ever
354
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walrus4ever 01/22/13 - 07:01 pm
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Right you are Riverman. Those

Right you are Riverman. Those are good jobs and hard to get. My dad retired from there in the Continental Can days. To me its another icon of the manufacturing base that gave its employees a better than average living. Another loss for our area in spite of the spin some try to put on the recent downsizings of two of the best manufacturers we had in Augusta. I dont care if 100 cafes and boutiques are "coming to town" .

Sweet son
10091
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Sweet son 01/22/13 - 07:45 pm
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On a lighter note.......

When I was a kid our next door neighbor worked at Continental Can. I used to complain to him that the smell of rotten eggs was terrible. He always told me that it smelled like eggs and bacon to him.. In later years I figured out that he was telling me that the smell was his living and provided for his family. Through all of the years and many names later that plant has provided the "eggs and bacon" for a lot of families. I sincerely hope that the impact will be minimal and that the plant and it's employees and history will be part of Augusta for a long time!!!!!

jmo
15441
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jmo 01/22/13 - 07:55 pm
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1
I don't know about all this rhetoric;

I'm still checking my mailbox each day for my share of the "redistribution of the wealth".

MarinerMan
2107
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MarinerMan 01/22/13 - 09:15 pm
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The Smell
Unpublished

When I worked there, it was always called, "The Smell of Money". Let's face it -- boiling wood chips in Drain-o is going to stink. When Federal rebuilt #3 Paper Machine, I want to say in 1991, the cost was $325 million. Of that, $11 million was spent on scrubbers, to reduce the smell for our neighbors. Still miss it today, but you can't go back...

countyman
19731
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countyman 01/22/13 - 11:40 pm
3
6
Wow tough crowd! The

Wow tough crowd! The Starbucks/Bridgestone/Rockwood plants under construction are being compared to boutiques and cafes..

The Plant Vogtle construction must equal a large grocery store then...

Only in Augusta would the GA 2013 Deal of the Year($172 million Starbucks plant) equal an cafe coming soon lol.

The eight people who gave me thumbs down will try to hide or jump on the bandwagon over the next few weeks/months...

I don't know how anybody can deny the facts. The upcoming announcements involve jobs/industry.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 01/23/13 - 07:00 am
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3
“The projected growth of

“The projected growth of global coated paperboard supply, coupled with slower growth in the demand for our products,"
Did it ever occur to anyone that another type of packaging is taking its place. Don't worry, eventually wages will rise around the world and companies will start bringing jobs home. They'll all be $8.00-$10.00 an hour with no benefits, and one of the southern states will lure them with millions or billions of tax breaks so everyone's state taxes will have to go up to make up the difference. They'll also need a lot of electricity, so the power companies will lobby for us to start paying for power plants decades before they're built, while at the same time the heavy industrial users will get a price break on power useage, and again the difference will be passed on to residential customers as higher rates. No worries though, you won't be able to afford to rent or buy a place to live on the wages paid anyway. It's so handy having a few dozen lobbyists. If only the average citizens had some.

As they say, the US will soon become Europe's Mexico, especially the southern states. Work faster Gringo, we have dozens more just waiting to take your job.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 01/23/13 - 07:57 am
5
1
Maybe there is some light in the tunnel

“It is 75 positions, but it will not be 75 people. We have some open positions that we won’t be filling,” Hood said. The company is also hoping retirements will satisfy the job elimination.

seenitB4
85643
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seenitB4 01/23/13 - 09:39 am
3
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In techfans link...is this

Jokes about the U.S. becoming "Europe's Mexico" are commonplace, but now high-priced consultants are pushing the notion in all seriousness.

They're predicting that within five years certain Southern U.S. states will be among the cheapest manufacturing locations in the developed world -- and competitive with China.

----------------------------------------------------
THAT is good & bad news...jobs are needed so much that low paying jobs will be a miracle for some....

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/23/13 - 09:48 am
3
0
If having a lunch wrapped in

If having a lunch wrapped in 3-5 layers of paper is that vital to the economy, then it's been doomed for alot longer than the last 4 years. Just saying. I despise the 2 parties equally so your wasting your time speaking to me like I'm an Obama minion. I'm bringing reason and logic into the mix. I know crazy right?

Riverman1
82398
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Riverman1 01/23/13 - 09:52 am
4
0
US becoming Europe's Mexico

US becoming Europe's Mexico. Heck, we are just becoming Mexico period. Have you seen the population projections over the next couple of decades? Once they get the majority population, the Gadsden Purchase will be reversed and the Alamo will be turned into a Mexican restaurant.

Riverman1
82398
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Riverman1 01/23/13 - 09:54 am
1
1
My trees in Aiken have about

My trees in Aiken have about 10 years to harvest. I hope the paper market corrects by then.

Little Lamb
45313
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Little Lamb 01/23/13 - 10:08 am
1
1
Europe

There are two Europes – the strong and the weak (or you could say the producers and the dependent). It was on NPR this morning so you know it must be true. England, France, Belgium, Germany and the Nordic countries have strong economies. Greece, Spain, Portugal and a few others around the periphery have crippling unemployment and very little economic activity.

soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 01/23/13 - 11:07 am
2
0
LL, sounds like those pesky Anglo's are
Unpublished

at it again. Evil Anglo's. Creating wealth in the world. Providing wealth for others to share. Evil Anglo's.

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