Fox Valley reacts to Green Bay Packaging investment

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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY-TV) Green Bay Packaging announced Tuesday plans to build a five million dollar facility to replace its 71-year-old paper mill that's just north of downtown Green Bay on Quincy Street.

This would be the first new paper mill in Wisconsin in more than thirty years and create two hundred full-time jobs.

"I think this investment that Green Bay Packaging is making is really showing us that there's still money to be made in the paper industry," Anthony Snyder, Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, said. "There are still plenty of trained skilled workers in the paper business here."

The investment came as a validation to certain sectors of the paper industry in the Fox Valley.

"Shipping container and corrugated paper is definitely on the upswing and the paper mills that specialize in that product are seeing very good growth and the future is bright," said Peter Thillman of Fox Cities Regional Partnership

Action 2 News has shared Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson's concerns with the paper industry and the lack of state financial support after job cuts at Kimberly Clark, the former Appleton Coated and Appvion.

But he says there's been a positive turn around.

Appleton Coated reopened as Midwest Paper Group and will recall 300 hundred jobs. The new owners are making a 10 million dollar investment.

Appvion managed to reduce its workfoce without any layoffs and signed a three year contract with its workers.

"Folks here are just doing it," Nelson said. "They're doing the right thing, they're not asking for outside support."

But Nelson says with state help we could see more investments.

He helped propose the Papermaker Fund back in February.

"Which is to support businesses that are going to make a strategic investment in innovation, in long term job creation," said Nelson.