Workforce development focused on giving Appleton Coated workers viable future

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More than 600 workers at Appleton Coated still aren't sure of the mill's fate.

A judge last Monday ruled the facility in Combined Locks would stay open and operate for 45 days as a potential buyer is sought.

Industrial Assets Corporation got the bid to buy the mill two weeks ago.

Then those six hundred workers were laid off.

County executive Tom Nelson objected to the sale hoping a different buyer would keep it running.

A week ago the Bay Area Workforce Development Board held two sessions with Appleton Coated workers.

"We had over 550 workers show up for that," said Jim Golembeski, Bay Area Workforce Development Board Executive Director.

The goal: prepare for more than 600 workers looking for new jobs.

"We're going to prepare for worst case scenario and just make sure we can go in as we did already,” Golembeski said. “Provide the workers with information and then as they need it, make sure we have the staff and the resources to provide those kinds of services."

It may take resume building, computer help or new training

"But there certainly are going to be opportunities for people at that salary and benefits," said Golembeski.

Nelson is still hopeful the mill will stay open.

"We are talking about jobs, we are definitely talking about economic development,” Nelson said. “This really goes to who we are as a community and I think it's important to do everything we can to keep that mill running."