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Local Paper Mill Closing

The Roaring Spring paper mill will soon be closing for good, according to the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation.

ABCD Corporation spoke directly with Appvion officials who confirmed the plant would be closing in March or early April, according to ABCD President Stephen McKnight.

“In the best economic times this would be devastating news for the local workforce, their families and our community,” McKnight said “In the current global climate, it’s even worse. We are shocked and simply at a loss by this sudden announcement.”

McKnight says ABCD has activated the regional workforce rapid response team to help place as many of the manufacturers as possible within their labor shed before turning their attention to marketing the facility to other potential operators.

He says they’ll need the entire community to come together to help.

“ABCD has reached out to the Governor’s office and will work closely with our elected officials to do what it takes to keep our friends and families local while maintaining the facility for a future use,” McKnight said. “We expect to work with Appvion as that process unfolds in the coming months.”

According to McKnight, Appvion officials blamed the continued market constraints brought on by the pandemic and said the resulting restrictions have wreaked havoc in an already “volatile and competitive carbonless paper market.”

“While most of Blair County’s core industry base has managed to maintain operations up until this point in the crisis, I am very concerned that we risk additional downsizings or even closures if the pandemic related restrictions continue much longer,” McKnight said. “We must find our way back quickly.”

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