Putney Paper announced its closure, ending more than 200 years of paper production history in the region. The mill, located in downtown Putney, along with its converting plant on Kathan Meadow Road, employ a total of 127 people, and both will close operations.
In a press release, Rob Baron, president of Soundview Vermont, reported that the paper manufacturing division will close immediately, while the paper converting division will remain open until the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2024, or March. Forty-six employees are expected to remain at the converting plant until March 31.
Baron explained that the closure is due to high energy costs in the region, which have proven unsustainable despite efforts to keep the historic paper mill operational. The company pledged to support employees during the difficult transition.
Soundview Vermont acquired Putney Paper Mill in 2012 and has made significant investments to strengthen the mill over the past decade. However, rising energy costs have led to the closure decision.
In light of the situation, Vermont has committed to assisting the 127 laid-off workers by offering severance packages and extended benefits. The company’s human resources team will focus on job placement opportunities, providing support services including resume writing, interview coaching, skills workshops and contact with local businesses.
Rep. Michael Mrowicki expressed concern about the closure, pointing to high electricity costs and the plant’s confined location as reasons cited for the decision. Mrowicki is working with state agencies to provide support to affected employees.
U.S. Representative Becca Balint lamented the closure and stressed the importance of defending jobs and the rural economy. The City of Putney is gathering information about the closure, as Putney Paper is the major employer in the downtown area.