IP jobs moving

Published 11:45 am Friday, November 21, 2014



Special to The Tidewater News

SUFFOLK—International Paper will move 19 customer service jobs from Suffolk to its global headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., the company confirmed on Thursday.

The employees, who numbered 35 back in 2009, were housed at International Paper’s Franklin mill until it shut down that year, according to reporting then by The Tidewater News.

Franklin tried to keep those jobs by postponing the build-out of the Franklin Business Incubator several times in an effort to attract the company, which said it wanted an open floor plan. But International Paper ultimately decided to move the jobs to Suffolk.

Jenny Railey, communications manager at the Franklin mill, said the plans were announced last week.

“The Suffolk team currently has 19 positions,” she wrote in an email. “Employees from the Suffolk office interested in relocating within the company will be eligible to apply for open positions. Severance benefits will be available for employees impacted by this announcement.”

She did not say when the closure would take effect and would not answer other questions about the move.

Suffolk’s Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said the city would provide resources to the employees who elect not to move to Memphis. The services, provided as part of a partnership with the state and the workforce development center, would include assistance filing for unemployment insurance, job search and training options.

The city also would provide the employees with information on locally booming industries and the like, Hughes said.

“It’s actually something we were made aware of a few months ago that this might happen,” Hughes said.

He said the employees worked in a one-story office building off Centerbrooke Lane across from Sentara Obici Hospital.