Boise, Martin announce expansions

• DeRidder LA

Mark Riser, Vice President of Manufacturing joined Gov. Bobby Jindal in early May in announcing the company will invest $111 million to upgrade a major paper machine at Boise's DeRidder Paper Mill. The reconfiguration of a former newsprint machine will allow the company to make lightweight linerboard and corrugated material, key components of packaging.

The expansion will retain 440 existing employees and create 54 new direct jobs with average salaries of more than $66,500 a year, plus benefits. Additionally, LED estimates the project will result in 222 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 275 new jobs. An estimated 600 construction jobs will also be created as a result of the project.

Gov. Jindal said, "When we took office, we made the retention and expansion of our existing businesses one of our highest priorities. Our aggressive efforts to improve our business climate helped boost new growth in Louisiana's economy, including for the paper industry. Boise looked at investing in other states, but the company chose to invest in Louisiana because of our outstanding business climate, world-class infrastructure and incomparable workforce. Indeed, Boise's decision to invest here is proof that Louisiana has entered a new era of economic competitiveness, and time and time again companies are choosing to invest in Louisiana because of the progress we've made."

Boise Inc., headquartered in Idaho, operates packaging and paper facilities in 17 states, Canada, Mexico, France, the Netherlands and Spain. The DeRidder Paper Mill represents one of Boise's largest facilities and includes three paper machines. Market conditions in 2009 led to the idling of the newsprint machine that will be converted through the new project.

For more of the story see this month's paper.

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• Chopin LA

Roy O. Martin III, President and Chief Financial Officer of RoyOMartin-Martco Ltd. Partnership joined with Governor Bobby Jindal to announce the company will invest $20 million to modernize and expand the Martco plywood facility in Chopin, La.

RoyOMartin-Martco will upgrade drying equipment, add a production line and create 24 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $42,000, plus benefits. The company will retain 686 jobs, and L:ouisiana Economic Devedlopment estimates the expansion project will result in an additional 56 indirect jobs, for a total of 80 new jobs for the area.

Gov. Jindal said, "Over the past 90 years, RoyOMartin has become one of the leading industrial employers in Louisiana and a huge economic driver for Central and North Louisiana. We're proud that the company continues to modernize and expand its facilities in our state because of our strong business climate, world-class infrastructure, vast timber resources and skilled workforce. This expansion keeps RoyOMartin and Martco at the cutting-edge of the wood products industry and secures hundreds of valuable existing jobs while creating new career opportunities for our people."

Founded in 1923, RoyOMartin and its family of companies manage 582,000 acres of timber and related resources while manufacturing wood products as one of the largest independent lumber companies in the South. RoyOMartin's Chopin and Oakdale mills employ a combined 847 workers, and employment statewide totals more than 1,000 people.

For more of the story see this month's paper.

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