Gov. Doyle: Governor Doyle Announces More than $650,000 in State Grants to Assist Stora Enso Expansion

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Tim Laatsch, Stora Enso, 715-422-4023
Jessica Erickson, Governor’s Office, 608-261-2156

Company to Upgrade Facilities, Expand Production Capability at Four Mills;
Funding Will Help Train Over 400 Employees on New Technology, Equipment

Wisconsin Rapids – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that
the Department of Commerce will provide Stora Enso North America with
$656,300 in Customized Labor Training Grants to assist the company as it
expands its production capability and trains its workers on new technology.
The Governor made the announcement during a visit to the company’s Wisconsin
Rapids Paper Mill.

“My Grow Wisconsin initiative supports the expansion of
high-end manufacturing in Wisconsin, and I am working hard to help our paper
industry grow and thrive,” Governor Doyle said. “I am pleased that we can
help Stora Enso train over 400 employees as it makes a new investment in

Stora Enso is investing $98.7 million to expand the
production capability of its facilities in Biron, Kimberly, and Wisconsin
Rapids. The company has decided to upgrade its capabilities and rebuild its
machinery to have the latest technology in the papermaking industry. The
Commerce grants will be used to train 418 current employees.

“We are grateful for this assistance from the State of
Wisconsin. The training of our employees with our new equipment and
processes is a key factor in our future success,” said Lars Bengtsson,
President of Stora Enso’s North America Division. “It is a clear
demonstration of the state’s commitment to work with business and industry
so we can remain competitive in a global economy.”

The projects are as follows:

— In Wisconsin Rapids, Stora Enso is investing $47.5
million to rebuild the mill’s largest paper machine to include the latest
technology. Growing out of the rebuild, the company will train 161 current
employees on state-of-the-art processes.

— Stora Enso will convert and upgrade its #2 fiber line
from softwood to hardwood at the Wisconsin Rapids Pulp Mill. The mill will
also increase its pulp production, handling, and shipping capabilities. In
connection with this $10.3 million expansion, the company will train 70
current employees on new equipment and processes.

— With the change to hardwood at the Wisconsin Rapids Pulp
Mill, the Biron facility is investing $9.2 million to build new facilities
for the repulping of softwood. The company will train 33 current employees
on new equipment and processes.

— Stora Enso’s plant at Kimberly is investing $31.7 million
to rebuild and add new equipment to one of its paper machines and to upgrade
the wetlap repulping and pulp-handling capacity. The company will train 154
current employees on new equipment and processes.

Through his “Grow Wisconsin” Initiative, the Governor is
committed to strengthening and upgrading the state’s manufacturing sector,
including the paper industry, and to providing training to workers to
upgrade their skills.

The Governor has proposed a worker training program to
provide free job training services to manufacturers that create a
significant number of new jobs in Wisconsin or make major investments in
their workplace. He has directed the Department of Commerce to focus its
existing training program resources to help manufacturers upgrade the skills
of their workforce. In addition, the Governor has proposed a Manufacturing
Competitiveness Program to help manufacturers improve their productivity,
apply new technology, and become more competitive.

Stora Enso North America is the leading producer of paper
products for the printing and publishing industries. It also produces
specialty papers for consumer product packaging and labeling. The company
has facilities in Wisconsin Rapids, Biron, Kimberly, Whiting, Stevens Point,
and Niagara, Wisconsin; Duluth, Minnesota; and Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia,

Since 2000, Commerce has provided more than $13.2 million in
loan and grants to 56 Wood county projects that retained 803 jobs, created
426 jobs, and leveraged $30.7 million in new investment.