Century-Old Paper Mill to Abruptly Close

NEFLO PHOTO / shutterstock.com
NEFLO PHOTO / shutterstock.com

By now, we’ve all heard Democratic President Joe Biden insist that things are improving – it might be slow going, but it’s going. So why, then, are even more plants announcing closures and massive layoffs?

The latest is taking place in Canton, North Carolina, where the Pactiv-Evergreen owns a paper mill that has employed the community for over 100 years.

But as of Monday, the company announced that this mill, which employs about 1,100 individuals, will close its doors for good in the coming months. Also to close is a smaller operation in Olmstead Falls, Ohio.

But as Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers told WPDE-TV, the closure in his town will be VERY hard felt. In fact, he described the scene after the meeting in which the closure was announced as heartbreaking. “I was downtown, and I was grown men with tears in their eyes. No one was prepared on this dark Monday to deal with that.”

He further explained that for the better part of the 100 or so years the mill has been in operation, it has been one of Haywood County’s largest employers. In fact, he says that taking the mill from the community will essentially be like “taking a piece of the town’s soul.”

It’s just devastating.

And North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper agrees.

As such, he promises that he and his office will be doing all that they can to uphold the community during this dark time, “find(ing) solutions and create(ing) new opportunities for Western NC.”

Pactiv-Evergreen leaders say the closure isn’t personal, although it will undoubtedly be personally felt. The sad fact is that the company overall is suffering, and as president of beverage merchandising Bryon Racki explained, it’s “almost exclusively a reflection of the market conditions.”

Essentially, the economy sucks right now, and everyone, including big corporations, is feeling the strain. Hell, even Google, Meta (Facebook), PayPal, Microsoft, Dow, and 3M are “recalibrating head counts,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

And yet, Biden says everything is fine…. Forgive me and the 1,100 soon-to-be laid-off Canton Mill workers if we don’t believe that for a second.