Domtar is expanding the Greenville facility where it makes adult diapers.
The Montreal company, which is the largest maker of copy paper in North America, has seen sales in its personal-care business surge more than 460 percent in the past year to vastly outpace its paper sales.
The expansion in Greenville will add 35 new jobs and invest $100,000 over three years in the facility where it now employs 290 in the making of Attends, disposable underwear and diapers for adults.
For the first half year, pulp and paper accounted for $2.22 billion of Domtar’s revenue, 4.4 percent down from the same period last year, while personal care hiked almost 24 percent to $219 million.
Last year, disposable underwear and diapers products brought a whopping 462 percent sales growth to $399 million, after the company acquired EAM, a private manufacturer in Georgia of lightweight but highly absorbent materials, and Attends Europe, which granted Domtar worldwide ownership of the Attends brand.
Domtar paper and pulp sales fell 7.6 percent to $4.58 billion in 2012. Domtar is increasingly struggling to retain its market share in the paper production business, as office paper demand is gradually replaced by paperless trends. The company slashed more than 2,600 jobs after shutting down mills in Ontario and Wisconsin over the past six years.
If the company meets its investment and job creation targets it will receive a $70,000 grant from the One NC Fund from the N.C. Department of Commerce. The One Fund requires a matching grant from the municipality.
“Domtar made a strong number of contributions to the county as one of the top 10 taxpayers,” said Wanda Yuhas, executive director of the Pitt County Development Commission. “Their operations center adds another dimension to our support of the manufacturing industry.”
Domtar also operates a pulp mill and biochemical plant in Plymouth and has its global personal care headquarters in Raleigh.
“This state is a symbol of Domtar’s past and future,” the company’s CEO John Williams said in a statement.
Williams said the company has already invested $20 million in the Greenville region. The new jobs, which will be in accounting and finance, will pay an average annual salary of $52,000, about 54 percent more than the Pitt County average of $33,769. The unemployment rate in Pitt County was 9.6 percent in July, above the state’s 8.9 percent.
“Domtar’s decision to expand in Greenville, and add 35 good-paying jobs to the local economy is great news for the hard-working folks of Pitt County,” state Sen. Don Davis of Snow Hill, who represents the county, said in a statement.