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Governor pleads with paper mill to stay open in Western NC

pactiv evergreen mill canton.png
Alex Ford / Flickr
The Pactiv Evergreen mill in Canton has been in operation fore more than a century, but the company announced its closure earlier this month.

Gov. Roy Cooper is asking the operators of a massive western North Carolina paper mill to find a way to keep it open.

Cooper told the CEO of Pactiv Evergreen on Thursday that the Canton plant's closure would have a “devastating effect” on the region and its people.

The company announced last week it expected to close the mill during the second quarter as part of a restructuring.

About 1,100 employees are expected to lose their jobs. Cooper wrote the company should explore all options, including a sale or repurposing.

The company announced on March 6 it would close or sell many of its mills across the nation, including in Waynesville, N.C., and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

He also said the state would seek to recover $12 million in incentives if the mill closed.

Ryan is an Arkansas native and podcast junkie. He was first introduced to public radio during an internship with his hometown NPR station, KUAF. Ryan is a graduate of Tufts University in Somerville, Mass., where he studied political science and led the Tufts Daily, the nation’s smallest independent daily college newspaper. In his spare time, Ryan likes to embroider, attend musicals, and spend time with his fiancée and two cats.