(UPM, Helsinki, 5 February 2009 at 12:00) - The new business park established on the premises of the closed Kajaani paper mill has been named Renforsin Ranta (Shore of Renfors) after a local diversified manufacturer Herman August Renfors (1849–1928).
UPM has signed new agreements with companies that will be located in the premises. To date, UPM has signed leasing agreements with 22 companies in total. Of these agreements, 13 are letters of intent and 9 final agreements.
If all agreements will be completed, the business park will provide jobs for some 360–440 persons. Negotiations with other companies interested in the business park will continue.
Mr. Hans Sohlström, UPM's Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Development, is pleased with the positive progress of the business park.
"Our entrepreneurial thinking and the excellent voluntary work by the people of Kajaani region, have been the keys for the success. Companies have been interested in the existing infrastructure and skilled workforce of the paper mill. Despite of the difficult global markets, the companies believe in the future."
A new organisation has been formed to Renforsin Ranta in order to be able to serve in-coming companies better. Mr. Jarmo Torvinen has been appointed Director of Renforsin Ranta. Previously Mr. Torvinen has worked as a Technical Director in the UPM Kajaani paper mill.
The business park has also established a web page, which will serve people interested in the area and its companies. The web page can be found at www.renforsinranta.fi in Finnish.
"From Job to Job" programme
UPM's "From Job to Job" programme offers financial support for retraining, creation of new businesses as well as relocation of the employees affected by the paper mill closure.
At the beginning of February, about 200 out of the 535 employees, who were threatened by unemployment, were without a job or a study place at the Kajaani paper mill.
To date, approximately 110 persons have found employment outside UPM, and about 70 of them have been hired by the companies of Renforsin Ranta. Aroud 25 employees have found new positions within UPM, around 20 employees have set up their own business and about 20 have started studying. Some 150 persons will retire.
In connection with UPM's "From Job to Job" programme there have been several training and company presentations as well as support for people coping with the change at the Kajaani paper mill.
Over 600 visitors attended the recruitment and training event that was held for all job appliers at the Kajaani paper mill on 14 January. The exhibition was organised by UPM, the city of Kajaani, labour and trades division, Edukai and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences. Because of the positive reception the exhibition is being planned to be held again next autumn.
UPM will start cooperation with the sofa manufacturer Suomi-Soffa. The mill of Suomi-Soffa, which is based in Kajaani, will expand and the personnel will grow with around 50 people during this year. The growth is estimated to continue with about 30 new recruitments in 2010. Currently the mill employs around 200 people in the Kajaani region.
"There are many phases in the sofa manufacturing where it is useful to have process capabilities. We will train all our new employees. The recruitment cooperation with UPM offers a good opportunity for people working in processes to train themselves and get employed in Kajaani", says Riitta Turpeinen of Suomi-Soffa's Kajaani mill.
Mr. Hans Sohlström, UPM, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Development, tel. +358 400 547717
Mr. Jarmo Torvinen, Director of Renforsin Ranta, tel. +358 40 5883696
Ms. Riitta Turpeinen, Suomi-Soffa, tel. +358 3 6070502