Grateful for IP’s decision

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nearly two years ago, International Paper decided to close the Franklin mill, putting an end to more than 100 years of economic stability that the mill provided.

That decision triggered an avalanche of emotions for those directly affected due to the loss of jobs at the mill, for local business owners who existed to support mill operations, and anyone whose business would be impacted by the economic downturn that was sure to come.

We not only mourned the loss of jobs, but that of our community identity as well.

For many, the mill closure caused anger and resentment towards International Paper that lasts to this day. We understand. But we also understand that this community needs jobs, a steady income and hope for the future.

Clinging to the disappointment that things are no longer the way they used to be won’t provide any of those things. Getting up off the ground, dusting ourselves off and moving forward will.

This week, International Paper began the process of employing at least 200 of our friends and neighbors. We see this as cause for celebration. With a much clearer understanding that there are no guarantees for the future, we embrace IP’s decision to resume activity at the Franklin mill and are grateful that so many will have jobs as a result.