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 HOQUIAM, Wash., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move that will restore 230 badly-needed forest products industry jobs in the Grays Harbor area, Grays Harbor Industrial, Inc. today announced completion of its acquisition of the Grays Harbor Paper Company mill in Hoquiam from its joint owners, ITT Rayonier and International Paper. Production at the paper mill, which closed last fall, is scheduled to resume in November, with full-scale operations expected by January, 1994.
 "There's a lot of hard work ahead to make the mill successful," said Bill Quigg, Grays Harbor Industrial president, "but today we have something to celebrate, and many people to thank. We tried many combinations. It took a truly cooperative effort to open the lock."
 The complex deal came together after a series of cooperative negotiating sessions. U.S. Bank's corporate banking group is providing financing. ITT Rayonier gave the project an important boost at a critical time with seller-financing for a part of the purchase price. Pope & Talbot will supply the paper mill with pulp from its Halsey, Ore. pulp mill. Weyerhaeuser will purchase and market all the paper produced at the Grays Harbor mill. The Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) approved an innovative five-year labor agreement that provides labor stability.
 Governor Mike Lowry and the Washington State Department of Community Development (DCD) also provided invaluable assistance. For the first time, the state has agreed to commit $3.3 million in future Community Development Block Grant funds, pending federal approval, to guarantee the bonds sold to investors in the new plant. Governor Lowry said, "this commitment, unprecedented in U.S. and state history, is a major statement that Washington's timber communities are extremely important, and that the states promises to help improve their economies are very real."
 Efforts by U.S. Senator Slade Gorton and sixth district Congressman Norm Dicks were instrumental in completing the deal. Dicks called it "a tremendous accomplishment for working people and for the entire Grays Harbor community," noting that union officials, business and government leaders at many levels were united behind the goal of reopening the mill. "Grays Harbor has triumphed over adversity in a way that should be a model for any community which confronts the loss of major employers," Dicks said.
 Gorton called it "one of the most riveting projects I have ever been involved in," adding, "I will continue to do all I can to ensure that the 230 jobs created by the reopening of the mill are part of the Grays Harbor community for generations to come."
 "It's not that often we can put together a loan package that brings so many people back to work so quickly," said Gary Duim, president of corporate banking for U.S. Bank. "It's tremendously gratifying. There are always stumbling blocks, but everyone involved chose to focus on the opportunities."
 "After more than 60 years of operation, we closed the facility last November with great reluctance," said Ron Rogstad, vice president of pulp and lignin operations for ITT Rayonier. "Since then, we've worked very hard to provide an opportunity for new investors to purchase the facility, and we're pleased to assist Bill Quigg and his group in this new venture." Jeffrey F. Kass, vice president-sales for International Paper's Printing Papers Sector and chairman of the board of Grays Harbor Paper Company, echoed those sentiments, adding, "We're pleased that the mill will again become a major employer in the Hoquiam area."
 Weyerhaeuser Company expressed similar pleasure with the mill's reopening. Robert F. Meyer, vice president, Weyerhaeuser Paper Division, said, "We're especially gratified that so many jobs are being restored." He added, "We're confident the paper to be produced there will be of very high quality and a source of pride for the Grays Harbor mill and Weyerhaeuser Company."
 Peter Pope, CEO of Portland-based Pope & Talbot, Inc., called the mill acquisition "a win-win situation, not only for the Grays Harbor area, but also for employees at our Halsey, Ore. pulp mill. By utilizing the resources of both mills, we're able to provide a positive contribution to the economy of the Northwest."
 "This is great news for our members who formerly worked for ITT Rayonier and the Grays Harbor Paper Company," said Farris Bryson, president of the AWPPW. "This is great news for the communities of Hoquiam and Aberdeen, which have been hard hit economically by the mill closures. The AWPPW is committed to work diligently with the new company in its efforts to make the operation a successful endeavor."
 More than 1,000 people have applied for jobs at the mill; new employees will undergo extensive training, some of which will include college credits. The Washington State Employment Security Department is coordinating the hiring process.
 -0- 8/31/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Quigg, president, of Grays Harbor Industrial Inc., 206-532-9600; or Richard Padden, of Carney Badley Smith & Spellman, 206- 622-8020, for Grays Harbor Industrial Inc./

CO: Grays Harbor Industrial, Inc. ST: Washington IN: PAP SU:

RB-JH -- SE008 -- 7715 08/31/93 19:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 31, 1993

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