Georgia-Pacific closes plant
Georgia-Pacific is closing a plant in the region and laying off 57 workers.
Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific said last week that it will close its Epic plant in Parchment, just north of Kalamazoo, at 400 Island Ave.
The plant is primarily a supplier to the food industry.
Georgia-Pacific, founded in 1927 in Augusta, Ga., is one of the world’s leading makers of building products, packaging, paper, tissue, cellulose and related chemicals. The company is a subsidiary of Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries.
Winding down plant
The 200,000-square-foot Epic plant will be closed by the end of the year, impacting 46 hourly and 11 salaried employees.
Georgia-Pacific said it plans to “continue to operate at least part of our facility into late 2015,” while it transitions most of the production to other U.S. facilities producing similar products in Green Bay, Wis., and Hattiesburg, Miss.
Georgia-Pacific plans to sell the building following the plant's closure, said Julie VanDeWater, a spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific.
The transition will allow the company to “work with our customers and meet their immediate product needs.”
The employees at the plant operated safely and effectively, and the closing is not a reflection on their work. The decision to close the plant is based on Georgia-Pacific’s “business needs and ability to be competitive long-term.”
“We understand how this decision impacts our employees, their families and the community,” Georgia-Pacific said in a statement.
VanDeWater said the company will be “working one-on-one with every employee to understand what their options are and to provide them with any type of job placements, either locally or within the organization.”
VanDeWater added that Georgia-Pacific is “working with our union leadership at the facility on closure negotiations, which includes any type of severance or compensation payout.”