Response to Canton Paper Mill Closure
For Immediate Release: March 7, 2023
Joint Press Release: Response to Canton paper mill closure
As our hearts and minds reel with the news that Pactiv-Evergreen intends to close the paper mill in Canton, we grieve together as a community.
Haywood County has faced, and met with courage, more than its share of hardships, and this challenge will be no different. Haywood County’s tradition of grit and resilience will serve us well in the days and months ahead as we plan for a new future.
“We know this is a huge change, yet we are confident that our county can find solutions. Our county staff are working on ways to help the hard-working Evergreen employees find resources to help them make a smooth transition. This is not the first time we have lost an industry in Haywood County, and we will come out strong as before. We are praying for everyone involved,” said Kevin Ensley, Chairman, Haywood County Board of Commissioners.
“Supporting every single worker and family affected by this economic crisis is the most important thing that we are doing today. At the same time that we are securing the safety and stabilization of our economy, we will continue to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to find employment. My hope is that everyone who wishes to will be able to stay in Haywood County,” said Zeb Smathers, Mayor, Town of Canton.
Rest assured that plans are already underway to handle the complex issues that will arise out of the closing of the paper mill. A group of town, county, and state leaders have met and will continue to meet to discuss these issues and share information.
Likewise, a joint information center has been established to provide information to the public on a number of topics including reemployment and training opportunities, and available mental health services.
David Francis, Community & Economic Development Director stated that “the unfortunate closure of Evergreen has left all us a little shaken and 1,100 employees devastated, but there is a team of dedicated folks at every level of government, community colleges and chambers of commerce to help the employees of Evergreen to get back on their feet. In the coming days and weeks, this group will be able to assist, educate and to help find employment for the employees of Evergreen.”
“My heart fell yesterday as I heard the news concerning the paper mill being closed down. Being a native of Haywood County it has always been a huge part of this small town that I call home. I have numerous family members, friends, and customers that are being affected. Our number one priority is to help those impacted in whatever way we can to make sure they have the support to take their next steps forward. My prayers are with each of you as we support each other in the days ahead,” said Brandon Rogers, Vice-Chairman, Haywood County Board of Commissioners.
This is an evolving situation and updates will be provided as new information becomes available.
Public information updates will be shared at www.milltownstrong.com and the Facebook Page: Canton Mill Community Resources.