Pratt Paper aims to change economic landscape of Henderson Co.

Pratt Paper aims to change economic landscape of Henderson Co.
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:05 PM CDT
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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Thursday’s announcement that Pratt Paper would be adding a paper mill to Henderson led Gov. Andy Beshear to tout the project as the biggest community investment in Kentucky since he took office.

Henderson Economic Development Executive Director Missy Vanderpool spoke with 14 News to outline the changes it could bring to Henderson County.

[PREVIOUS: Gov. Beshear announces $400 million paper mill investment in Henderson]

She said that nearly all of the 300-plus jobs, and the 700 construction jobs that will be required to build the facility, are going to be filled by people who already live in the community.

There will be opportunities for vocational positions, as well as administrative jobs.

Vanderpool said people of many different educational backgrounds will have jobs available to them.

With more people getting a steady income, she said this means businesses, banks and the government itself can expect more money.

Vanderpool said $120 million in direct funds will be coming into the community every year.

It also means housing is a top priority.

Since city officials have known about this project for a while, Vanderpool said new housing developments are on the way. Although, these developments are not ready to be announced.

Vanderpool acknowledged there is a worker shortage right now, but she said Pratt Paper’s structure should be able to bypass the issue.

“You’ve heard the pay scale is significant,” she said. “They pay well, and from the culture that they have, I don’t think they’ll have trouble recruiting the skilled workforce that they’ll need.”

Vanderpool said she expects the first hires to be made toward the start of 2022.

120 jobs need to be filled by the end of 2023.

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