ST Paper in Duluth proud to host the DEED commissioner and show progress of new products

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Matt Varilek had the chance to check out the ST Paper Duluth mill on Tuesday, in his new role as commissioner of DEED.

“It’s great to see the product being made. But also it’s a story of resilience and economic progress,” he told us after the tour. “And a great example of public/private partnership.”

The mill re-started in January under the new ownership. It had closed under Verso in 2020. DEED helped with the transition.

Thanks to an investment of a state-of-the art machine, they now make bathroom tissue, napkins, and paper towels. The raw material is recycled office paper.

Ron Thiry, Chief Operating Officer, told us, “We are very proud of the progress that’s been made. Folks are doing a great job. We are all learning. But the reception in the marketplace has been very positive.”

About 70 people work there now, and they are looking to hire a few more.

Laura Molter, Human Resources Lead, added, “We got over 50 of our former employees back to work. And they are happy to be here and they’re building a new environment even better than our last. We have a team system here.”

The mill has gone through several owners besides Verso.

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