Press-Republican

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February 19, 2013

Gillibrand pushes worker training

(Continued)

TICONDEROGA —

“What she’s doing would be good for International Paper,” Mallon said. “We support the bill. It provides exciting opportunities for partnerships that focus on enhancing and expanding our manufacturing base.”

Besides the competitive loan fund and job training, Gillibrand’s bill would provide technical assistance to increase export opportunities for manufacturers by analyzing markets and connecting small businesses to larger companies as suppliers or to win government or private contracts.

Gillibrand’s bill would award up to $20 million in low-interest loans for each regional or state manufacturing hub.

Applicants’ plans would be evaluated by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of Labor to ensure that they’re feasible and include job creation, private investment and cost-savings by manufacturers.

TODAY’S CHALLENGES

Mill Communications Manager Donna Wadsworth said IP has to continually strive to be competitive as a papermaker.

“Modern equipment, energy efficiencies, product development and a highly skilled workforce are essential to our success and our future. This initiative is an important step in ensuring the future of manufacturing and industry in our country, our state and the North Country.”

The Ticonderoga mill is also served by about 700 independent loggers and truckers for its wood and produces 900 tons a day of commercial and office printing papers. Its payroll in 2012 was $51.1 million.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the loans and training in Gillibrand’s bill are what businesses have been looking for.

“What kind of tools would help to attract companies and keep existing companies here? They need to make key investments, as International Paper is doing here to convert to a new fuel source.”

The Ticonderoga mill is preparing to convert its power boiler from expensive fuel oil to more affordable natural gas, providing that Vermont Gas can extend a proposed pipeline from Middlebury, Vt., under Lake Champlain to the mill.

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