134 layoffs in Brainerd paper mill closingby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — A paper mill in Brainerd is scheduled to close this spring, laying off 134 workers.
Wisconsin-based Wausau Paper says it is closing the mill because of stiff global competition in overseas markets where the company was trying to expand.
One of the main products the mill makes is the paper backing in masking tape. In 2010, the company made a $27 million investment in Brainerd so the mill could specialize in producing the paper used in tape.
"We made a strategic decision to focus on the other side of our business, which is the towel and tissue business," said Perry Grueber, the director of investor relations for Wausau.
"Coupled with that strategic decision," Grueber said, "the Brainerd mill has had challenges in recent months in terms of its profitability."
Wausau's Brainerd mill is the second paper mill in Minnesota in seven months to announce its closing. Verso Paper announced it would close its Sartell mill in August.
Wausau Paper owns four other mills: two in Wisconsin, one in Ohio and another in Kentucky.
Grueber said the company plans to sell the mill site in Brainerd.