Great news for economy

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday’s announcement that International Paper will begin to repurpose the Franklin mill begins to draw closure to more than 18 months of speculation and rumor and also provides, more importantly, welcome news for a community desperate to hear it.

While the 213 new jobs can’t replace the 1,100 that were lost, for a community attempting to recreate its economic identity, they are a great start. They are also further proof that although some have prematurely reported on the demise of Western Tidewater, we are very much alive and kicking.

This now makes two significant announcements in the last couple of months from a couple of heavy hitters — International Paper and Dominion Resources — and the implications are encouraging to say the least.

If these two corporate behemoths are willing to invest a combinedstaf

$120 million to upgrade and repurpose existing plants and facilities right here, certainly better economic times are on the horizon for this region.

Understandably, there will be those who never forgive International Paper for its original decision to close the mill. But on this day, let’s put animosity to the side and celebrate the fact that more than 200 of our friends and neighbors are about to get new jobs.

It’s a good day in Western Tidewater. One of many good days to come.