Citing a continued decline in demand for engineered wood products, Weyerhaeuser will close its iLevel Veneer Technologies facility in Colbert indefinitely.
The move, announced Thursday in a press release, will affect 105 jobs.
“The demand for residential wood products continues to erode and this announcement is a direct result of the business environment we face,” Cathy Slater, vice president of Veneer Technologies, said in the press release.
Employees will receive regular pay and benefits for 60 days.
“This was a very difficult decision,” Slater said. “Our associates have done an excellent job of executing that which has been asked of them. This announcement is in no way a reflection of the performance by our associates.”
The bad news comes after Weyerhaeuser announced on Oct. 17 a stoppage in production in Colbert for at least six weeks.
The intent was to reassess the economic situation after that six-week period, but Weyerhaeuser’s decision to close indefinitely came after just three weeks of downtime.
“Unfortunately, ongoing business conditions now require that we take this further action,” Slater said. “We recognize the impact of this closure on our associates and the Colbert community, and we will do our best to work with affected associates through this difficult period.”
The Colbert plant is one of five Weyerhaeuser facilities in the state. The company employs approximately 875 people at locations in Lyons, Oglethorpe, Americus, Madison and Port Wentworth.
Anonymous, so glad there are still people out there who actually care about there fellow man... It may have been an eyesore but it kept famlies and children fed and housed. To the people that are going to lose there jobs..I hope you'll be able to find good employment before your regular pay and benefits run out.We'll keep you in our prayers.
Actually, it's the kind of thinking that this plant was going to be a good citizen when it was recruited into this county that is the problem. When this place settled in Madison County, the people who recruited it acted like they hit the lottery. These people were short-sighted and not planning for the long term economic health of Madison County. Immediately after this plant opened, the complaints started pouring in as fast as the smoke poured out of the facility - burning eyes, throat, respiratory and health problems.
If you had a child with asthma and lived within 5 miles of this polluter, your life became a living hell when this place opened. When you add up the cost of all these health problems and compare it to the wages paid to workers (many of whom did not even live in Madison County!), the meager 15-18 year lifespan of this place has been a NET LOSS for Madison County, not a net gain.
The company that put this plant here knew they had a bunch of hillbilly suckers with dollar signs in their eyes when they built it here. Hard to believe Madison County actually asked for this problem.
Now times are tough, the damage has been done to the lungs and health of citizens of Colbert and Comer and Danielsville and where is Weyerhauser leaving their employees? High and dry, fired with no notice.
And we're left with a huge eyesore that not only will not be contributing to the economy, but has ruined land values and farmland surrounding it. Good riddance. Clean air and water is much more valuable than any job or any amount of money. No point in having money if you can't breathe!
Let's learn from this bad experience and not make the same mistake twice. Only recruit clean, green, environmentally friendly industry and/or agriculture-based industry. Ironically, we could have had a poultry packing plant here along the rail line and everyone freaked out about the non-existent "odor" and the company scrapped plans for locating in Madison County. Frozen processed poultry doesn't smell, people. Ironic that we recruited a mega-polluter and ran off frozen poultry. Now the mega-polluter has left you in the cold while the poultry biz continues to boom. I bet those people kicked to the curb by Weyerhauser wish that packing plant was here now. People eat chicken; people don't eat toxic glue board. Housing booms don't last; people always eat.