Jefferson County is once again facing an unemployment rate in the double digits. In fact, it's the third highest in the state. The county thought it had good news when a former paper mill in Brownville was supposed to re-open early last year. But almost a year later, it had almost become a forgotten hope. That was until now. As our Brian Dwyer tells us, the plant will be looking for applicants in the next few weeks.
BROWNVILLE, N.Y. --Hope was at an all-time high in October of 2010. The Brownville Specialty Paper Mill was going to re-open.
Florelle Tissue, a Canadian company that makes paper towels, napkins and tissues, promised to spend millions fixing it up and to bring several dozen jobs to the area.
"We did look at other states. We looked at Canadian Provinces," Florelle President Harry Minas said at the time. "This was the best fit for our company. The community is wonderful and the state is great."
The plant was supposed to reopen early last year. But as that time frame passed and the calendar flipped to 2012, the hope was somewhat forgotten. Until just recently.
Florelle has asked the WorkPlace in Jefferson County to start collecting applications in just a few weeks.
"It's exciting to see a plant that has been left idol for almost three years now, to have life breathed back into it and to get it to be another vibrant company in the area," WorkPlace Executive Director Cheryl Mayforth said.
Mayforth says the WorkPlace has already taken applications for some positions, but expects to start making the push for people to fill the 55 or so floor jobs by mid-February.
"We'll have a certain period of time in which people can come in and fill out applications. Those will be turned over to the company and they will do the overview of the applications. They will do the selection for interviewing," Mayforth said.
But not only does Mayforth say this an opportunity for people to come into Brownville and get a job, but she says it's a great chance for those who used to work at this mill before it shut down, to come back.
"The reason he's coming to Watertown is because of the labor force and people who have had extensive paper making experience," Mayforth says she was told.
Mayforth says she's been told the plant could open late this summer.
Mayforth says the WorkPlace hasn't yet start advertising the jobs, but it will shortly, so interested people should be on the lookout.