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Management Side
Dunn Paper to close Port Huron mill after 98 years

MICHIGAN (From news reports) -- Dunn Paper will close its Port Huron location Nov. 18.

Ashley Carpenter, vice president of human resources for Dunn Paper, said the Port Huron plant, 218 Riverview St., currently has about 100 employees. They were notified of the closure Tuesday.

Carpenter said the closure is due to "...ongoing challenges to generate positive cash flow in the face of adverse economic factors."

She said none of the six other Dunn Paper locations are being considered for closure. Dunn Paper has one other location in Michigan, in Menominee.

"We are definitely offering relocation to our other mills if there are positions open as well as doing everything we can to help them transition to new jobs," Carpenter said of employees in Port Huron.

The Port Huron mill started operation in 1924, according to the company's website.

"The Dunn Paper logo draws its inspiration from the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, which can be seen from our Dunn Port Huron Mill, exactly as it stood in 1924," the website reads.

Carpenter said she had no information regarding the future of the property following the closure.

"Our first thoughts are for the employees of the company. We will coordinate services with other agencies to support Dunn's employees in this time of need. Services will include one-on-one counseling along with training on how to write a resume and interview for a job," said Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County CEO Dan Casey. "Some of Dunn's employees have worked for the company for 20 years or more and haven't been in the job market for a while. We're anticipating that these services will be needed to help transition those employees. We're also going to be working directly with the company and area employers on direct placement through a series of one-on-one connections and job fairs."

"This is a true loss for the community, as they have been a great employer here for almost 100 years," Port Huron City Manager James Freed said. "We will now begin the work, with partners such as the EDA, to help find new jobs for these valuable workers. A lot of talent and Dunn and we have a lot of employers who need that talent."

Casey said the closure didn't come as a surprise as the paper industry has been facing challenges, including the closure of the Domtar paper mill last year.

In August 2021, Domtar Corp. announced it would be closing its Port Huron mill at 1700 Washington Ave., eliminating about 200 jobs. That mill had been in operation for more than 130 years.

Casey said there has been limited interest in the Domtar property that he is aware of, and the aging facilities can make the property difficult to redevelop.

"They can be repurposed, it's just complicated and expensive and time consuming, but it certainly can happen," he said.

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