A community in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania will be suffering the loss of a major source of jobs. On April 1, Appvion Inc., a paper mill whos union endorsed Biden in 2020, will be closing down for good.
The New York Post identified the plants closure as the “first significant manufacturing loss” in Biden’s first few weeks. There will be 293 jobs lost, 250 union members, and 43 managers.
Stephen McKnight of Altoona-Blair County Development Co., points out that the loss of those jobs affects more than just the people who were laid off. He says that for every lost job at the plant “an additional four to seven jobs” in other industries are impacted too, with the damage compounding over time. He lamented that the region will suffer the loss of “millions of dollars” which would normally be put back into the local economy in the form of “community, schools and businesses.”
Mitchell Becker, president of the United Steelworkers local branch, said that he’d been in his job for 25 years and never received indication that it would be put on the chopping block. He said that the workers expected the company to be sold, but that “we never thought we’d close.
Appvion Inc. is blaming COVID-19 restrictions for why the plant must be closed, but others believe that this is only part of the truth.
The New York Post reported that local residents speculate the reason for the plants closure is more probably related to the Biden administrations strict climate change demands, which would have required costly upgrades from Appvion. The plant already had to endure an expensive retrofit to meet emissions standards under Obama.
This is the end of a 155-year legacy for the paper plant, which first opened in 1866.