Mills Make a Comeback in the Katahdin Region
The paper industry in Maine has been hard hit in recent years with many towns feeling the sting of downsizing, including east millinocket, where hundreds of people lost their jobs when the mill closed in 2011.The news is better for 2012. Great Northern Paper celebrated a birthday and some new additions.on Thursday. CEO of Great Northern Paper, Richard Cyr, said “It’s been a long year for us and we’ve accomplished a great deal.”Now the people of Millinocket see the mill as an anchor. New jobs opportunities helped decrease the area’s unemployment rate by more than 5% in the past year. “Every job that comes back is exciting and it makes the livelihood and community grow,” said Bruce Cox, who’s been working at the mill for 41 years. In the past few months the mill has added another paper machine to keep up with demand, which added even more new employees, which now totals at 257.”Did I see myself here a year later? yes I did. I have no doubt this will be successful.” said Cyr. The mass projection of best sellers, like “50 Shades of Grey,” are helping the mill stay in business, but owners say they need to keep diversifying the company. Cate Street Capital President and CEO, John Halle, said “You have to adjust to the times.”There are also plans to bring other industries to the millinocket area, but the Cry said “You’ll just have to wait and see.”The CEO of Great Northern Paper said by this time next year, they hope to have the Thermogen Wood Production Facility up and running at the old mill site in Millinocket.