WisconsinReport.com Is Not Affiliated With Any Government, Agency, Company Or Other Website With Wisconsin In It's Name.
News, Views and Commentary Since 2001
Domtar Port Mill Closing Will Hurt
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/15/07) - Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle says his Administration is taking steps to respond to the recent news that the Domtar paper mill in Port Edwards, Wisconsin will close permanently in a few months. The mill employs 500 people in Central Wisconsin. It is not yet known just how much this loss will affect the economy of the area, but it is sure to have some kind of noticeable effect. The Governor says he is committed to do what he can to ease the situation for the families who will be affected, including talking to the Domtar company to see if state assistance might keep the plant open.
“This is very disappointing news for Port Edwards, the entire region, and particularly the hardworking families who will be affected,” Governor Doyle said. “These are good jobs that are important to the community."
"I am committed to helping this community and the hundreds of families who depend on the mill for their livelihood. I have directed my Administration to pursue all opportunities to assist the families who are now in transition and work with local officials and business leaders to bring renewed economic development to the community,” Governor Jim Doyle says.
Workers affected by the plant closing should contact their local Job Center to inquire about services by visiting www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory or toll free at 888-258-9966.
Governor Doyle has directed Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman to form and dispatch a Rapid Response Team to meet with the approximately 500 affected employees to expedite unemployment claims and give workers access to job training and placement services.
- DWD will contact the company and the union to set up an initial Rapid Response meeting immediately to discuss available services and to schedule worker orientation meetings as soon as possible.
- DWD will issue a $25,000 Rapid Response start-up grant to the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board to initiate services for the affected workers.
- DWD will also work with the company and the union to petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor, which may allow for the extension of unemployment benefits for two years and up to $15,000 for additional education and re-training for eligible workers.
- In addition, DWD will apply to the U.S. Department of Labor for additional funding to assist these workers through the National Emergency Grant (NEG) program, which provides funding to states when significant events create a sudden need for assistance.
Governor Doyle also directed Department of Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer to meet with the company to discuss whether state assistance could keep the plant open.