COVINGTON, Va. (Sept. 25, 2018) — Officials in Alleghany County and Covington joined Virginia Governor Ralph Northam today for the announcement that WestRock Company, the area’s largest and longest standing employer, will invest $248.4 million over a five-year period in facility and equipment upgrades.
The investments are designed to improve productivity, as well as increase employee training at the paper mill, which was established in 1899 and spans the City of Covington and Alleghany County line. Approximately 1,000 people are employed at the mill to manufacture high-quality bleached paperboard which is converted into packaging by WestRock and customers for global markets including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, electronics, tobacco, and food.
“WestRock means so much to this community,” said Covington Mayor Thomas Sibold. “With continued investment in this mill, our economy is stronger than ever.”
WestRock pays more than $10 million in taxes to the City of Covington and Alleghany County. The company also contributes to the local economy with more than $134 million in annual salaries and wages to employees.
“Through continued investment, WestRock recognizes that its City of Covington mill is critical to the success of this Fortune 500 company,” said Stephen Bennett, chair of the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors. “And WestRock is integral to the economic success of the Alleghany Highlands.”
“Thank you, WestRock, for demonstrating confidence in the local workforce. Not only do your employees contribute to the company’s success, but also to the quality of life in the region,” said Marla Akridge, executive director of the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation.
The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation worked with the Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership on this project which will receive a $2 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program. WestRock will also receive funds from the Virginia Jobs Investment Partnership for retraining 50 employees. The expansion is in the Alleghany Highlands Enterprise Zone and is eligible for tax incentives associated with that program.