It's a sad day in Hope as more than 100 employees at the Georgia-Pacific particleboard facility in the city will lose their jobs and another 500+ jobs will be cut in Crossett, Arkansas.
The Crossett facility will remain open for tissue and towel manufacturing, but the company did not fully explain the Hope closure,
The loss of jobs in Hope was a surprise to many, and the company also decided not to rebuild a Thomson, Georgia facility that was largely destroyed by fire last week.
Nevertheless, it said the Crossett facility decision was based on an internal assessment of the competitiveness of the bleached board market.
Georgia‐Pacific's particleboard production in Diboll, Texas, will remain in operation. The company did not explain why this facility would stay open while the one in Hope and Monroeville, Alabama would close.
In Crossett, this means that Georgia-Pacific will permanently shut down the bleached board machines, as well as the extrusion plant, woodyard, pulp mill and a significant portion of the energy complex at the Crossett mill. The company also in July will shut down one of the mill's older tissue machines that doesn't support the long-term competitiveness of the tissue business.
Approximately 530 jobs at the facility will ultimately be impacted by these closures. About 25 business and sales jobs also will be affected by this decision.
Until the assets are shut down in October, Georgia‐Pacific employees will continue to operate the mill in its current manufacturing configuration. During the next month, Georgia-Pacific will begin discussions with union leadership and the hourly and salaried workforce on how the process will work for employees affected by the job reductions, including the potential to transfer to other Georgia‐Pacific locations. The company will also begin working with its customers on transitioning their bleached board product supply.