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Paper company to lay off employees in central Wisconsin

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - An Ohio-based paper company plans to lay off about five-percent of its workforce - including a number of employees in central Wisconsin.

The New Page Corporation says it will lay off 300 of its six-thousand workers at eight plants - but officials refused to say how many workers would be let go at each facility. Almost a third of the company's personnel work at plants in Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point, as well as a research-and-development facility in Biron just east of Rapids. The firm also plans to cut $20-million in costs which do not involve personnel.

New Page blames an ongoing drop in the demand for paper. The company has closed mills in Whiting, Kimberly, and other places over the past several years. In December, New Page came out of Chapter-11 bankruptcy with fresh financing and a new board. Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zach Vruwink says New Page is vital to the local economy - and he calls the job cuts concerning. New Page is the latest owner of a company that was locally-owned for decades in Wisconsin Rapids as Consolidated Papers.