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Paper manufacturer to close massive Charlotte facility, cutting 170 jobs

The manufacturer WestRock is closing its massive southwest Charlotte facility, a move that will result in the layoff of 170 local workers.
The manufacturer WestRock is closing its massive southwest Charlotte facility, a move that will result in the layoff of 170 local workers. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The manufacturer WestRock is closing its massive southwest Charlotte facility, a move that will result in the loss of 170 full-time local jobs.

To improve efficiency company-wide, Atlanta-based WestRock, which makes paper and packaging products, is moving the manufacturing operations from its Charlotte facility to others in the company’s network, spokesman John Pensec told the Observer. Its 185,000-square-foot Charlotte plant is at 2750 Whitehall Park Drive, off Interstate 485.

Employees were informed of WestRock’s decision to close in Charlotte last week, Pensec said. Workers are encouraged to apply for positions at WestRock’s other locations nationwide, including at its eight other North Carolina facilities, he added.

Layoffs will begin at the facility starting Oct. 19, WestRock said in a recent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice. Under federal law, companies must file WARN notices when they make mass layoffs, close plants and change ownership.

The 170 jobs affected are all full-time positions, Pensec said, and include both hourly and salaried workers.

“The decision was made from an efficiency standpoint. We have capacity in our network that we’re able to consolidate. All employees are strongly encouraged to look at other opportunities within the network,” Pensec said.

WestRock has said it employs 45,000 people across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta
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