How's this for a nostalgic aroma? The paper mill in Hawesville. When I was a kid, you could smell it all the way into Owensboro. But Domtar Paper Co. LLC dates back much farther than my childhood. The company is celebrating 175 years of business this year.

Major Domtar Announcement for Hawesville and Western Kentucky

And now, Domtar has given folks in and around Hancock County more reasons to the tune of a $51 million investment into modernizing the Hawesville mill. Governor Andy Beshear made the announcement  Wednesday.

As part of the announcement, Hawesville mill manager Murray Hewitt has this to say about the upgrade and the partnership that will make it happen:

Domtar is pleased to partner with the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to support the Hawesville mill’s modernization, offering the ability to produce innovative fiber-based products that are growing in demand. Additionally, it promotes stable employment and maintains the Hawesville mill’s standing as a pillar of the community that it has served for over 50 years.

"Stable employment" is likely the key phrase in Hewitt's comment as the renovations mean that 400 jobs will stay right there in Hancock County.

Domtar Paper Co. LLC -- a Little Backstory

Domtar is a top manufacturer of an enormous variety of fiber-based products. They include packaging papers and market pulp, among many other products. Annually, Domtar produces nearly 600,000 tons of specialty paper at the integrated pulp and paper mill in Hawesville.

The manufacturing sector in Kentuckyjob has been thriving over the last four years, with committed investments of just under $22 million and the creation of more than 29,000 jobs.

But this modernization project in Hawesville--which will "upgrade the current pulper with a modern pulper to gain additional machine capabilities"--is all about KEEPING jobs right here in western Kentucky.

Domtar executives expect the expansion to be fully operational by 2025.

30 Kentucky Companies with the Most Employees breaks down the top employers in each of the 50 states--one through 100. Here are the top 30 that are headquartered in Kentucky. (By the way, the highest-ranking Owensboro company is Owensboro Health Regional Hospital...just outside the top 30 at No. 38.)

READ MORE: See 50 remote jobs that can pay well

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