Posted on October 27, 2017
Woodland Pulp Demonstrates The Power Of The New Markets Tax Credit
A 2010 decision by Woodland Pulp to vertically integrate operations and construct an additional plant on site left new owners searching for a variety solutions. The paper making industry once a thriving force in Maine’s economy, had experienced a serious downturn. The investment needed for Woodland Pulp’s project was $120 million. In addition, there was a shortage of skilled workers available local. Woodland Pulp faced the critical need of recruiting capable employees and securing the needed capital.
The solution: New Markets Tax Credit Financing.
To qualify for the federally subsidized program, a project must provide a tangible benefit to an area suffering from economic distress. Woodland Pulp definitely met this criteria. Located in Baileyville, Maine, the company had operated in the area since 1905. Mill upgrades would provide employment protection for over 300 employees and create 80 new jobs with the added St. Croix facility.
The confidence to upgrade an aging mill with state-of-the-art equipment is the investment in developing a qualified work force. For this, Woodland Pulp partnered with CEI Capital Management. CEI is a non-profit that distributes New Market fund. Together the entities agreed to add a community benefits agreement to Woodland Pulp’s financing. This agreement resulted in a workforce training program for Woodland Pulp and was extended the other businesses in the area.
One requirement to qualify for the Maine NMTC Program is companies must pay hourly wages above the region area. Woodland Pulp will offer standard opportunity for advancement to employees as they mature with the company.
Woodland Pulp’s impact on the local job market has not been isolated to the eighty jobs that were added by the newly finished companion plant. The impact on the local company generated by Woodland Pulp’s increased company staff is expect to be seen in job growth at restaurants, gas stations, and an assortment of local business. An increase in job creation as well as job security as already occurred for area truck drivers that transport Woodland Pulp products to to and fro. Local construction companies that have provided construction services for Woodland Pulp also found tangible benefit.
Woodland Pulp is committed to continue efforts alongside the Baileyville community in job recruitment, training, and retention. Proud of the benefits afforded the Baileyville area by the addition of their St. Croix Tissue plant, Woodland Pulp is looking forward to future opportunities to advance current partnerships and help foster economic sustainability.