WestRock Panama City Paper Mill ceases operations

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The whistle has blown at the Panama City Paper Mill for the last time.

After providing hundreds of jobs for many generations, the Bay County staple is now officially closed.

“It is certainly a heartbreaking day, not only for the community but for those employees,” Carol Roberts, Bay County Chamber of Commerce President.

With the mill closing, hundreds of people are without jobs. However, there are opportunities available according to one local official.

“On the positive side, our local manufacturing plants are all hiring. Business recruitment is thriving. So, I feel assured there are many opportunities available for those displaced employees,” Roberts said.

The paper mill has been the place that has fed generations of Bay County families.

Several of the workers told NewsChannel 7, they spent the day cleaning out their lockers and saying their final goodbyes.

We reached out to several of the families affected by the closing, who said they were too emotional to talk on camera.

The shutdown left approximately 450 workers without a job.

Employees were told they would receive severance and outplacement assistance in accordance with company policy and labor union agreements.

Even with other job prospects on the horizon, the paper mill closing still leaves many locals as empty as the paper rolls inside.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Bay District School Board, Trane Manufacturing, Port Panama City, Eastern Shipbuilding, and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport are just a few of the local companies that have offered jobs to former paper mill employees.

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