Almost a decade after a paper mill closed in Groveton – and long after many people gave up hope of any new jobs – a Vermont company plans to open a manufacturing plant there.
NSA Industries of St. Johnsbury hopes to have its Groveton plant operating in January and will begin hiring 60 workers in the next few weeks, says CEO Jim Moroney.
The jobs will include machining, fabrication, running lasers and material handling. The firm does metal fabricating, machining and power coating and took what Moroney described as a long-term lease on 73,000 square feet.
At a news conference Wednesday Moroney said NSA had a new contract to fill but couldn’t find a location or workers it Vermont. He learned about the Groveton site from Jon Freeman of the Northern Community Investment Corporation, but then the question was whether there were enough workers.
So, the company held two job fairs in Groveton and got 300 applicants.
“Everything that we worked so long for, we finally succeeded. We got our first company signed,” said Jim Weagle, the chairman of the Groveton select board.
And Bob Chapman, who owns the site, said he has several other companies seriously considering moving to Groveton.
Last March, in what town officials described as a gamble on Groveton’s future, the town voted to borrow $400,000. That money allowed the town to get $600,000 in federal funds to put water and sewage on the privately owned mill site.
Mike Stirling, who manages the industrial site, said without that vote it is hard to imagine any business would locate there.