Mill Workers Getting Ready to Move On
YAKIMA, Wa - Mill Workers at Yakima Resources face a challenge to move forward. They will be laid off officially on Saturday and the old Cascade Lumber Mill will close after over a century in business.
Mill workers will now have to start a new career with a family to support and a mortgage pay off. In many cases, the mill is all they have ever known.
Larry Turner has worked at the mill for 41-years. He's the norm, not the exception. The employees at the mill have no reason to leave. It's steady work; good pay with benefits. Now they have no choice.
"I'm still working. Still got your job to do," says Turner when asked about losing his job, "But it works on you. You think about it."
Turner thinks about what he will do next, how he'll pays his bills and afford health insurance. At 61-years old, he's concerned that his age will hurt his chances to get another job that pays as well as the mill.
"It's a situation where you are going to have to start at the bottom. New job. New people," says Turner.
But he also considers himself lucky. Others at the mill still have families to support and mortgages. He's only a year away from retirement.
"I have to decide what I want to do. Go back to school, or find another job," says Turner.
The transition will be difficult. Friends who were laid off when the saw mill closed last year have struggled.
"I'm going to sign up for unemployment and go from there. That's my option right now," says Turner.
Mill workers are still waiting to hear back from the federal government. They have applied for the Trade Act Petition, which provides financial assistance, healthcare and retraining for displaced workers.