EAST DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Laurens County is celebrating thanks to a big business that's planning on pumping millions into the community to help expand East Dublin's paper mill.
On Friday April 12th a machine at the mill, called the PM2, created a new future for the 270 workers at Southeast Paper Fiber Technologies.
"The number two machine the one that we're celebrating today, has been a world class machine," said Jay Guarandiano, CEO of SPFT.
In September, 2012, Fiber Technologies stepped in to take over the mill, and help transform PM2's production from news printing into light-weight packaging for everyday items like card board and pizza boxes.
It's new venture for the paper mill, that's bringing a lot of excitement to Laurens County.
"We have a mill that's still very viable, it's making a new product, it's investing a lot of money, jobs are kept, jobs are being added," said Scott Beasley, Chairman of the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority.
Over the next year, SPFT is spending $42 million in the community to expand the mill's production.
The man who built it from the ground up in 1976 knows just how much this investment means to this community.
"It makes me feel very happy to be here today to see that they have a future," said Ron Wilson, Founder of Southeast Paper.
"For me to be able to stay at home, and be with my family and have this opportunity it's a great feeling," said Tommy Morris, Machine Operator at SPFT.
In addition to re-purposing the mill's machines, all the materials used are recycled. The vision is to make it the "greenest" mill in North America.