RHINELANDER, WI (WXPR) - Governor Scott Walker says he's been in contact with management of Wausau Paper to talk about keeping jobs at Rhinelander and Mosinee.
The company announced the intent to sell three facilities, including a facility in Brainerd, Minnesota. During a stop in Rhinelander Monday, Walker says he discussed the situation with Wausau Paper officials last week. "The first preference would be for them (potential buyer) to keep the existing site both in Rhinelander and in Mosinee, but short of that, one of the reasons why I talked with their leadership last week was to make sure they didn't go the path that they did earlier in Brokaw, which was a different type of plant, and they had stated a purpose of selling and then selling off."
Walker says his impression is Wausau Paper management would like to find a buyer that would operate both the Rhinelander and Mosinee sites. He says he will seek state resources to help any potential buyer keep the operations going. "Whatever potential buyer would be of those sites, that we'd be in a position to not only offer them incentives, but even training grants and other things that would assure those jobs would stay both in Rhinelander and in Mosinee. That's our committment. We would prefer not to have them sell it, but if they're going to sell it, we want to keep them operating."
In a press release Monday from Wausau Paper, the firm said net earnings were just under $11 million dollars for 2012, down from $16 million one year ago.