On April 7, Stonewall Packaging LLC, a division of Jackson County Paper Manufacturing Co., announced plans to invest $17 million to create a recycled cardboard packaging facility that would generate 61 new jobs over the course of three years.
The announcement has been welcomed by Jackson County officials, including Commissioners’ Chairman Brian McMahan who praised the expansion in a statement to the Sylva Herald, stating that the new facility will create “much needed jobs” during “the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
The new facility will be housed in a vacant building on Scotts Creek Road, about a half mile from the Jackson County Paper Plant. Production in the new facility is expected to begin in the fall, following remodeling of the building. In a second phase of expansion, Stonewall will build a new mill on Chipper Curve Road, adjacent to the current paper plant.
The new jobs, for which hiring will begin this summer, will pay above the annual average salary for Jackson County ($27,820) at an average of $39,344, not including benefits.
The announcement comes at a time when unemployment rates in Jackson County are almost double those of last year, and are expected to rise as a result of lay offs at WCU, as the university is one of the county’s largest employers.
The expansion is being financed by private investors and a $200,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, a state sponsored program that helps local governments support attract new businesses.
According to the company’s website, Jackson County Paper will post new job openings in local newspapers, The Sylva Herald, Waynesville Mountaineer, Franklin Press and Smoky Mountain Times.