The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many businesses around the country to close down or to try and stay open in some capacity. Verso Paper Mill in Duluth is one of the latest statistics of a business that is idling indefinitely due to slowdowns caused by the pandemic.

According to a statement from the plant Verso is also idling the plant in Wisconsin Rapids. Between the two of them, there will be layoffs of about 1000 people. Since the pandemic and the stay at home orders started it has significantly reduced the use of print advertising putting both plants into this situation.

Adam St. John, President and CEO of Verso said in a statement to WDIO  "Decisions to idle facilities are always difficult because they impact employees, their families, and communities. Verso is committed to treating all of our affected employees with fairness and respect. As always, safety is our highest priority and will be our primary focus during this difficult time."

For now Verso will try to figure out what to do with both the mills in Duluth and Wisconsin Rapids whether to wait it out and see if market conditions improve, sell them or close down permanently.

Things like this are always so tough to see happening as these workers are our neighbors and friends who will be out of a job for who knows how long. It will seem so weird to be driving on the freeway past the plant and not see the smoke coming from the chimneys and that familiar smell permeating the air. Let's hope for the case of all those employees that this idle is temporary and things start picking back up again quickly.

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