Alcan Closing Impact Grows - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/04/03

Alcan Closing Impact Grows

Another Hancock County Company will shut its doors soon. One day after the Alcan Corporation announced it would close it's Bay St. Louis manufacturing plant , the manager of Sonoco says his plant will shut down as well. The company makes wooden spools and Alcan is it's only customer.

Dale Pierce is Plant Manager of Sonoco he told WLOX NEWS he can't believe that Sonoco has to close down. "I didn't figure this place would ever close down." Pierce has been plant manager of Sonoco for more than 10 years. The company assembles the wooden reels that Alcan uses to roll the cable its workers produces onto. "Everything in here is for them 100 percent of this business is for Alcan." Said Pierce. The first Pierce heard of Alcan's closing was when he heard it on WLOX News Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, he talked it over with his workers. "Of course everybody's going to have to find new jobs luckily I have 2 guys who are ready to retire anyway." When asked about his own future Pierce said "Hopefully I'll be relocated with the company if that's available or just find another job I was looking for one when I found this one."

City leaders say the plant's closure will have a far reaching impact on the community..In addition to the loss of jobs, the loss of tax revenues Alcan contributes annually will have a significant impact on the community. The Bay-Waveland School District will loose around 75-thousand dollars a year in tax revenue from the company. Hancock County about 74-thousand dollars and Bay St. Louis around 17-thousand dollars annually. Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre told WLOX NEWS.. "Our first response was what can we do there's got to be something we can do to save the plant at that point he said there's absolutely nothing anybody can do the decision was finalized Friday by Corporate it's a corporate decision." Meanwhile Favre and several other community leaders met with Alcan leaders Wednesday morning to look at ways to help workers from Alcan and Sonoco find new jobs.

One of the things leaders discussed Wednesday morning was having an on site job fair for employees to coincide with the employment training program Alcan is offering its displaced workers. Meanwhile there will be a tri county job fair next Tuesday June 10th from 9 'til 4 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. More than 60 employers are expected to be there with jobs to offer on the spot. Alcan workers are welcome to attend.

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