Resources For Mill Workers to Recover After Layoffs 

Millinocket. East Millinocket.  Old Town. Bucksport. Now Lincoln.

“It’s this bleed, this drain of people, so we try to help them pick up the pieces.”

Lincoln is the latest casualty when it comes shuttered mills in Maine – nearly 200 employees have been laid off over the past few weeks at Lincoln Paper and Tissue.

The Katahdin Transition Team is on hand, yet again, to help workers meet basic needs.

“It’s always a crisis mode when there’s a mill closure or somebody gets laid off,” explains Deb Roundtree, Associate Academic Dean at EMCC and chairperson on the Katahdin Transition Team. “Not only losing their job they’re losing their career,”

This isn’t the the first time this area has seen a massive layoff from the mills – the last one in Lincoln was about two years ago.

Some of those workers are finding success in other areas, like this welding class at Region III, filled, with former mill employees.

“I’ve never welded before I started my class, so it’s been pretty good for me.”

Cody Ouellette used to work at the mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket.

He graduated high school not long ago in 2008, so learning a new trade is coming easier.

It’s a different story for some other people in the class.

Ffor me to take up welding at 58 years old is quite a challenge.” explains Joey Dunn, who used to work at East Millinocket. “But I’ve earned 3 certificates so I did get something out of it.”

The transition team also helps connect mill workers with job training programs, like those at Region III in Lincoln.

A resource that makes the future look a little less bleak.

“Take advantage of the program,” Ouellette says. “Put your time in and get what you can out of it.”

For more information about resources available to laid off workers:

Call Eastern Maine Development Center Offices

              East Millinocket: 746-9608 x227
              Lincoln: 794-3004
Fuel and heating assistance is available through Penquis CAP, as well as holiday gift help. Laid off workers are asked to go through their Peer Support workers to get that help.