Plant closure hurts, but won’t define us

Published 12:01 am Friday, October 26, 2012

It’s been awhile since Adams County has said goodbye to a large, industrial employer, but no one has forgotten.

It’s been almost a decade since that string of major closures stung the community. That decade was made worse when no replacement industries opened at full production.

So when news that Mississippi River Pulp was closing its doors and firing 79 employees came this week, the wound was as raw as ever.

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Few believe there’s room for 79 workers to slide into our local workforce immediately. Some of those employees may retire, others will remain unemployed and still others may leave town.

It’s a tough blow in a tight-knit community that was hoping things were looking up.

Our thoughts and prayers — and those of the community, we are sure — are with those directly impacted by the closure.

And our hearts are heavy, though we continue to look to the future with optimism.

The closure of MRP doesn’t negate the recent opening of Enersteel and Elevance and the expected opening of KiOR.

The streak of years in which no large employer opened its doors is still over.

This closure will hurt, but if our community survived the losses of the early 2000s, it can survive this one too, as long as we stick together and stay focused on attracting new industries to replace the old ones.