International Paper will close a corrugated container plant and lay off 86 employees at its Jonesboro, Arkansas facility, the Memphis Business Journal reports. The declining regional economy forced the closure.
"Five of our biggest customers have moved out of the area in the last few years," said Doug Strickel, the facility's regional general manager. "That, combined with the declines in the Mid-South economy over the last year, has made it impossible for us to remain competitive."
The company's Olive Branch, Mississippi facility will absorb production from Jonesboro. Olive Branch will add another shift and create 20 jobs. The Jonesboro plant will close within the next few weeks. It produced boxes for poultry and industrial companies since 1982 as Tate Container, and was purchased by International Paper in 1999.