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Morehouse Parish New Jobs

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MOREHOUSE PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - After International Paper closed it's doors in Morehouse Parish in 2008, many people there have been looking for employment.

Thursday Governor Bobby Jindal was in Bastrop and announced a $120 million project that will bring more jobs to the area.

The unemployment rate in Morehouse Parish is more than 12%.

Bastrop Resident, Charlie Nelson says, "I hope something happens here, and it needs to happen quick."

Nelson says after the pile wood store he worked for shut down, he's had a hard time finding a job.

He says, "I'm on unemployment, but at the end of December they are suppose to shut it off, so we just got to do what we got to do."

There is some good news for Nelson and others who are unemployed.

"Today we're proud to announce drax biomass international will be investing more than 120 million dollars to build a new wood pellet facility in Morehouse Parish," said Governor Bobby Jindal.

The new project will bring 47 jobs to Bastrop in the plant alone.

Director of the Morehouse Economic Development Corporation, Kay King says it will bring more.

King says, "I was conservatively thinking that there might be as many as 100 jobs out in the woods harvesting but there are a lot of other jobs associated with forestry."

The new plant will process locally harvested timber into pellets or chips that will be shipped overseas to be used for renewable energy.

Nelson says he has to find a job, and he's happy jobs are coming to this area because he doesn't want to leave his home.

He says, "they don't realize a lot of people want to work but there just isn't anything for them to do, so it's just really hard."

Nelson hopes this will bring even more jobs to the area.

Drax Biomass also expects to generate more than 200 construction jobs during the year-long building phase.

Construction is set to be wrapped up by 2014.

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