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State To Assist International Paper Employees Find Jobs

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – On the heels of Wednesday’s announcement by International Paper they were closing down their Courtland plant, hundred of families are left scrambling to figure out their future.

Thursday morning, as job seekers funneled through the hallways in Regency Square Mall for a job fair, the news from International Paper was still fresh on their minds.

While most in the crowd were looking for seasonal work, Jim Cook with the Alabama Career Center in Sheffield knows his office will soon be filled by workers from International Paper.

If they go ahead and start looking and making a plan now, and start seeing what is available, it could be perhaps some might be interested in retraining.”

And according to Cook, the Alabama Career Center offers numerous resources to employees displaced by such situations as what was announced Wednesday.

Career counselors know that many of the workers being affected have not looked for jobs in decades.

A lot of things we do are internet based these days,”explained Cook. “We would be glad to sit down with any of the applicants who need assistance with that and walk them through not only our system, but any other needs they have in applying for work.”

And Cook added with the change thousands of workers will soon realize, they must understand there is help out there for them, and they don’t have to go through this alone.

One thing we have seen over the years in working with these situations is, the more positive they can stay, those people generally have a little bit better results,” said Cook.

Counselors with the Alabama Career Center said they started getting calls from employees of International Paper shortly after the Wednesday announcement.

Their Sheffield office will be heading up job seeking efforts for the Courtland plant.

Jim Cook also said the state career center will start meeting with employees at the plant in the coming weeks.