If you live in Hodge, La., there’s a good chance that your neighbor works for RockTenn. In fact, the mill employs around 460 people, which is close to the entire population of the Village of Hodge. Since 1927, the Hodge containerboard mill has been an integral part of Jackson Parish. According to some statistics, every 100 paper-industry jobs support approximately 350 additional jobs for the local community.
The impact the Hodge mill has on the area becomes very clear during outages, when the facility performs major maintenance and other projects. Hundreds of outside contractors and workers from across the region are hired to perform activities such as industrial cleaning, and equipment repair and replacement. It’s a boost to the economy that is felt by local businesses.
But the connection between the community and the mill impacts more than just the economy. The Hodge mill provides the Village of Hodge with electricity, and the Village provides RockTenn with potable water. For several decades the mill has also treated the Village of Hodge’s sanitary wastewater in its on-site treatment system. In August 2014, RockTenn began treating the sanitary wastewater from the residences within the Village of East Hodge as well. By providing these services, RockTenn is helping to alleviate these small communities of the burden of running their own separate wastewater treatment facilities.