International Paper announced plans in mid-September to close its Courtland mill, laying off about 1, 100 workers in Lawrence County. The mill is slated to close by spring 2014. Built in 1971, the mill produced 950, 000 tons of paper used in products ranging from envelopes to magazines.
IP plans to shift work now done at the Courtland mill to others, including its mill in Riverdale, in DeKalb County.
The company’s mills in Riverdale, Prattville and Pine Hill are not expected to be affected by the shut down, which IP blames on decreased demand for paper.
The Alabama Farmers Federation notes that the closure could have wide-ranging effects on the state’s forestry industry, which contributes $11 billion annually to the state’s economy.
Text by Nedra Bloom