JACKSON, Miss. September 16, 2005 -- In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Georgia-Pacific (NYSE: GP) plans to restart two idled Mississippi building products facilities: the Gloster plywood plant and the Roxie sawmill. The company expects to hire approximately 500 workers and the state estimates that more than 1,000 indirect jobs will be created through suppliers including transportation companies. The facilities are expected to be operational by the end of the year.
"Georgia-Pacific has been a valued corporate citizen of Mississippi for years," Governor Haley Barbour said.
"Mississippi is grateful for Georgia-Pacific's continued support, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina."
"I am proud of the response we are seeing from our private and corporate citizens, as well as people and organizations from around the world. It assures us that Mississippi will be rebuilt bigger and better than ever," Governor Barbour continued.
"This has been an incredibly trying time for Mississippi and neighboring states. At Georgia-Pacific, we're truly thankful to be in a position to assist the people of Mississippi by creating jobs and at the same time, providing much-needed materials to rebuild homes and businesses in the aftermath of Katrina," said A.D. "Pete" Correll, chairman and chief executive officer of Georgia-Pacific. "As a long-time citizen of Mississippi, were delighted to restart these facilities and in some way help revitalize the state."
The company is working with state forestry officials as well as private landowners to salvage timber damaged by the storm and use it in forest products manufacturing in the region. The facilities being restarted initially will rely on salvaged timber to meet their needs for logs.
Georgia-Pacific has been working with relief agencies such as The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army to assist in wide-spread Katrina relief efforts. The company has committed more than $2.5 million of in-kind donations of paper towels, bath tissue and disposable tableware. In addition, Georgia-Pacific employees have donated more than $171,000 to date, which will be fully matched by the company.
Georgia-Pacific built the Gloster plywood plant in 1967 and acquired the Roxie lumber mill in 1973. The Gloster facility produces plywood, with a production capacity of 285 million square feet of panels each year, while the Roxie facility produces 100 million board feet of lumber. The Gloster site will employ nearly 350 people and the Roxie site will employ more than 100 people.
"Mississippi remains a great place to do business with a motivated workforce, low cost of doing business and state and local governments that are actively seeking development," stated Leland Speed, executive director of Mississippi Development Authority. "Our efforts to assist existing companies and attract new ones to the state are undiminished."