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Appvion Cutting 200 Jobs In Appleton

Paper Company Moving Some Work From Wisconsin To Pennsylvania


Appvion, once known as Appleton Papers, has notified 200 production workers in Appleton they will soon be unemployed. The decision is driven by a declining market for carbonless copy paper, said Bill Van Den Brandt, a spokesman for Appvion.

The paper company plans to move most of its production work to its facility in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, while some production staff will stay on in Appleton, “but it won’t be nearly the volume that we have produced in years past,” Van Den Brandt said.

Workers at the plant make carbonless copy paper, which is commonly used on business forms and in checkbooks. Since the rise of credit and debit cards, demand for carbonless paper has plummeted and has been diminishing since 1994, Van Den Brandt said.

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“We were, for quite some time, the world’s largest producer of carbonless paper,” Van Den Brandt said. “It’s declining over the last five years at 7 to 10 percent per year.”

Appvion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

Aside from market demand, the decision to move production to Pennsylvania is because the Roaring Spring facility makes and processes paper, whereas the Appleton facility just processes it. The company has been shipping product from Pennsylvania to Appleton to process and cut up material into useable pieces.

“With transferring the sheeting operation to Roaring Spring, we obviously then eliminate those transportation costs,” Van Den Brandt said. “It just becomes a more efficient operation.”

Some of the machines at the Fox Valley plant will be dismantled and moved to Pennsylvania.

Three-hundred employees, mostly in its corporate headquarters, will keep their jobs at the Appleton plant.

Carbonless paper production began in Appleton in 1954 when the product was first rolled out. The city remained the largest producer of such paper until the advent of going cashless.

The transition is to begin in January and be completed next fall, according to The Associated Press.

When the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development was asked about the job cuts, Tyler Tichenor, a DWD communications specialist, said the DWD is “coordinating response services” with the Bay Area Workforce Development Area and touted the state’s unemployment rate.

“It’s important to note that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate of 3.5 percent in September 2017 is down from 4.2 percent in September 2016 and today there are close to 100,000 job openings posted on JobCenterofWisconsin.com, including many across the region. Outagamie County’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in September 2017, down from 3.0 percent the previous month (August) and down from 3.3. percent in September 2016.”

Tichenor also said the DWD’s Disclosed Worker Program provides transition assistance to people laid off.

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 2:14 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, with original reporting by WPR.

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