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(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) applauded the plans of Gorham Paper, LLC, to buy and reopen the Gorham Paper Mill.

Shaheen sees this is a positive step towards getting North Country residents back to work. The announcement came while Shaheen was meeting with business and community leaders in the North Country to talk about job creation.

“The Gorham Paper Mill is a critical source of good jobs in a region that has been hard hit,” Shaheen said. “Congratulations to Gorham Paper, LLC and the mill workers for this important positive step forward.  I look forward to the day when the mill reopens and people can get back to work.”

Shaheen has worked with prospective mill owners, Berlin and Gorham officials, and mill employees, to secure a deal and to make sure that New Hampshire residents are able to get back to work.

The Gorham Paper Mill employed about 240 workers and was the North Country’s largest industrial employer. It was the region’s last paper mill following the closure of three others within the past decade.

Last September, as part of her efforts to make the mill more economically competitive, Shaheen helped secure federal funding to build a gas pipeline from the Mt. Carberry landfill to the mill.  The pipeline will supply the mill with a clean, affordable fuel supply that will significantly reduce operating costs and increase productivity. Shaheen had sent a letter in support of the project to the U.S. Department of Commerce months earlier, when funding for the project appeared stalled.      

Last December, Shaheen worked to make sure that laid-off employees of the Gorham Paper Mill were eligible for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides job training and health care assistance. The approval followed a letter sent by Shaheen to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in October urging the Department to assist the workers.

The mill has stood abandoned since October 13, after owner Fraser Papers filed for bankruptcy on June 18, 2009.