State promises education, job training for IP workers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

State promises education, job training for International Paper workers

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The state is bringing a team to Lawrence County to help workers from the International Paper plant which is closing next year.

State Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard spoke on the immediate needs of the affected employees.

The governor's rapid response team will visit the plant next week. They will work to help the employees find new jobs and get unemployment benefits and worker training.

Hubbard and State Rep. Ken Johnson were at the site of the Jack Daniel's cooperage, which is expected to open early next year eventually providing 200 jobs.

Meanwhile, 1,100 IP workers will lose their jobs, with layoffs expected to start before the end of the year.

Johnson said many of the workers have been at the paper mill so long and are so used to doing their current jobs, that some will need counseling and education as they prepare for the future.

"You may have people who have been employed out there such a long time that a high school education was not required," he said. "And now we may need to help them with their GED or we may need to help them with further training.

"That's just part of what they'll do. There'll even be credit counseling made available to some who will need that."

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