Statement from Governor Bentley On International Paper Plant Closing in Courtland

by Staff
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MONTGOMERY – Late Thursday afternoon, Governor Robert Bentley weighed in on the announced closing of the International Paper plant in Courtland. Without notice, International paper announced Wednesday, September 11 announced from its headquarters in Memphis that it would end the 1,100 jobs by the end of March, 2014.

Here is the statement from Governor Bentley:

“The people who work for International Paper in Courtland remain on my mind, and I want to do whatever I can on the state level to help.  This morning, I directed Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, to contact company officials at Courtland’s International Paper plant.  Canfied is scheduled to meet Friday with plant officials to discuss and explore any possible options that could help prevent the loss of jobs.  We may not be able to save those jobs.  But we’ll do our best to try to keep them.   

In the meantime, I am directing the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to provide rapid response services for all those affected.  As part of these services, displaced workers will be eligible for career retraining dollars, and ADECA will connect those employees with available assistance.  ADECA’s Workforce Development Division will also send a Rapid Response Team to Lawrence County in the near future.  The team will meet with workers and discuss with them a wide variety of options to help them during this difficult time.  We will also continue to work on the state level to attract more jobs to Alabama. 

While our state has incentives to help bring in new industry, unfortunately, we don’t have all the incentives we need to help retain industries and keep them in the state. These type of incentives would help existing industries bring in new capital, retool, and change with the times as needed. I plan to work with the Legislature to see if we can develop a plan to help exisiting businesses continue to operate.

We’ve announced more than 40,000 new jobs over the last two-and-a-half years, and our job creation efforts will continue until everyone who needs a job is able to find one.  I am 100% committed to helping people go back to work.”

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