Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityNeenah paper mill closing | WLUK
Close Alert

Neenah paper mill closing

Clearwater Paper Corporation mill in Neenah, seen June 1, 2021. (WLUK/Don Steffens)
Clearwater Paper Corporation mill in Neenah, seen June 1, 2021. (WLUK/Don Steffens)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

NEENAH (WLUK) -- A historic Neenah paper mill is closing its doors.

Clearwater Paper Corporation announced the indefinite closure of its facility on N Lake St. Tuesday.

City of Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert calls the Neenah Mill, currently owned by the Clearwater Paper Corporation, a legacy.

"This is one of those mills that's generational too. Grandpa worked at that mill and then their dad worked at the mill and many times the son or daughter worked at the mill and so that's going to leave an impact," Kaufert said.

Kaufert says it's an impact that can be felt across the Fox Valley.

"This is a regional issue. The people who work there and are from Neenah, from Fox Crossing, and Appleton, and Menasha," Kaufert said.

Clearwater Paper Corporation says the reason for closing is not COVID related.

Shannon Myers, Clearwater Paper corporate communications senior director says it's not cost-effective to continue in 'away-from-home' product market.

"Those are basically what you have, the tissue products that are used in public places. And that is the business that we are exiting. The rest of the retail tissue business that we produce at Clearwater Paper will be, will continue to be produced at that other location," Myers said.

The facility includes three tissue machines and10 converting lines, removing a total paper production capacity of approximately 54,000 tons.

“Despite the best efforts of our dedicated employees, our Neenah location and assets cannot cost effectively compete in the markets that we serve,” said Arsen Kitch, president and chief executive officer. “This was a difficult decision, because it affects our people, their families and the Neenah community.”

The closure of the plant means nearly 300 people will be out of work.

The company says it will work closely with the union and state employment agencies to assist impacted employees in receiving training, and other benefits that enable them to find new employment as quickly as possible. The company will also offer career assistance services to help employees.

"Very much focused on taking care of our employees and supporting them through this challenging time. We're working closely with the Union and state employment agencies to help our impacted employees," Myers said.

Despite the announcement, Kaufert holds out hope that this isn't a done deal.

Kaufert contacted lawmakers in hopes of reviving the mill.

He hopes the state will reach out to the company.

"Just ask them, is there any way this is reversible? Is there any way we can talk about it? Some state intervention through the utilization of tax credits or low interest loans or something that could potentially keep this plant open," Kaufert said.

As of now, the facility is expected to close by the end of July.

FOX 11 contacted a few local workers unions for reaction to this news, but did not hear back.

Clearwater Paper acquired the Neenah mill in 2010 and produced private brand tissue products for commercial and retail customers.

Comment bubble

The company is based in Spokane, Washington.

Loading ...