The Washington State Employment Security Department said last week that the Stimson Lumber Mill in Arden, Wash. will layoff 67 of its workers in November and eventually shut down the mill. The 67 impending layoffs mean a considerable number of employees will re-enter the workforce in the Colville/Arden area and some managers worry that it may be into a town that won’t have room for them.
This is the second time the Stimson mill has laid off employees in the last three years. According to a warning letter sent to the Employment Security Department, Stimson laid off 109 employees in December of 2008. A reason has not been given for the coming layoffs, but in 2008, the company stated in the letter to the ESD the mill would reopen if the market would allow it to. There is currently no mention of the mill reopening.
“Stimson isn’t the only saw mill in the area, there are other sawmills that do hire, but not 67 workers all at one time,” Kerry Burkey of WorkSource Colville said. “What we’ll do is we’ll meet with those employees and their spouses and offer up services that are available not only through the Employment Security Department but through the entire community.”