Doyle Announces More than $650,000 in State Grants to Assist Stora Enso
Company to Upgrade Facilities, Expand Production
Capability at Four Mills; Funding Will Help Train Over 400 Employees
on New Technology, Equipment
The Department of Commerce provided Stora Enso North America
with $656,300 in Customized Labor Training Grants to assist the
company as it expands its production capability and trains its
workers on new technology. Gov. Jim Doyle made the announcement
during a visit to the company’s Wisconsin Rapids Paper Mill.
"My Grow Wisconsin initiative supports the expansion of high-end
manufacturing in Wisconsin, and I am working hard to help our
paper industry grow and thrive," Governor Doyle said. "I
am pleased that we can help Stora Enso train over 400 employees
as it makes a new investment in Wisconsin."
Stora Enso is investing $98.7 million to expand the production
capability of its facilities in Biron, Kimberly, and Wisconsin
Rapids. The company has decided to upgrade its capabilities and
rebuild its machinery to have the latest technology in the papermaking
industry. The Commerce grants will be used to train 418 current
"We are grateful for this assistance from the State of Wisconsin.
The training of our employees with our new equipment and processes
is a key factor in our future success," said Lars Bengtsson,
President of Stora Enso’s North America Division. "It is
a clear demonstration of the state’s commitment to work with business
and industry so we can remain competitive in a global economy."
The projects are as follows:
-- In Wisconsin Rapids, Stora Enso is investing $47.5 million
to rebuild the mill’s largest paper machine to include the latest
technology. Growing out of the rebuild, the company will train
161 current employees on state-of-the-art processes.
-- Stora Enso will convert and upgrade its #2 fiber line from
softwood to hardwood at the Wisconsin Rapids Pulp Mill. The mill
will also increase its pulp production, handling, and shipping
capabilities. In connection with this $10.3 million expansion,
the company will train 70 current employees on new equipment and
-- With the change to hardwood at the Wisconsin Rapids Pulp Mill,
the Biron facility is investing $9.2 million to build new facilities
for the repulping of softwood. The company will train 33 current
employees on new equipment and processes.
-- Stora Enso’s plant at Kimberly is investing $31.7 million to
rebuild and add new equipment to one of its paper machines and
to upgrade the wetlap repulping and pulp-handling capacity. The
company will train 154 current employees on new equipment and
Through his "Grow Wisconsin" Initiative, the Governor
is committed to strengthening and upgrading the state’s manufacturing
sector, including the paper industry, and to providing training
to workers to upgrade their skills.
The Governor has proposed a worker training program to provide
free job training services to manufacturers that create a significant
number of new jobs in Wisconsin or make major investments in their
workplace. He has directed the Department of Commerce to focus
its existing training program resources to help manufacturers
upgrade the skills of their workforce. In addition, the Governor
has proposed a Manufacturing Competitiveness Program to help manufacturers
improve their productivity, apply new technology, and become more
Stora Enso North America is the leading producer of paper products
for the printing and publishing industries. It also produces specialty
papers for consumer product packaging and labeling. The company
has facilities in Wisconsin Rapids, Biron, Kimberly, Whiting,
Stevens Point, and Niagara, Wisconsin; Duluth, Minnesota; and
Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Since 2000, Commerce has provided more than $13.2 million in loan
and grants to 56 Wood county projects that retained 803 jobs,
created 426 jobs, and leveraged $30.7 million in new investment.
For more information on the Customized Labor Training Grant Program,
contact Jamie Wall, (608) 267-0770.
The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.
Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.