HOPE, Ark (KTAL/KMSS) – Some city leaders in Hope said they were surprised when they heard about Georgia Pacific’s announcement this week to close its facility there.
The move will force more than 100 people from their jobs in 60 to 90 days. “It’s a blow to us,” said Steve Harris, President of the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation.
“Wood products are really low compared to what they were in the past 10 years … and, you think of GP, you think of wood, so that’s kindof what happened,” said Hope Vice-Mayor Don Still.
City officials said GP was the area’s fourth largest employer. Now, they said they’ll try to help those losing their jobs train for employment elsewhere.
Harris said they’ll turn to the state for help marketing the facility that’s being vacated. “Hopefully we can come back and put another industry in there. It’s got rail access and it’s all set up,” he said.
Officials said Hope’s industrial site has much to offer. “We got a building now that’s available with rail and everything out there, so, we got a good opportunity for somebody to take that building and run with it,” Still said.