CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, today issued the following statement in response to the announcement this morning by Verso Corp. that it intends to close its paper mill in Luke, Md., which also has operations in West Virginia.
“I am deeply saddened to hear this news that could affect nearly 700 people in our area,” Chairman Howell said. “While West Virginia has been working aggressively to create a positive business environment for manufacturers, unfortunately our counterparts in Maryland – where the majority of this plant is located – have been less hospitable to these industries.
“I’ve already reached out to the Governor’s Office and Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch, who have pledged the full resources of the state to help those West Virginia families affected by this closure,” Chairman Howell said. “The state stands ready to assist in getting these people new job, and will have job retraining and education opportunities available to help in this process.
“Fortunately, with the recent announcement from Northrop Grumman that they plan to create 500 new jobs at their Allegany Ballistics Laboratory facility, we’re hopeful that we can help these people find new jobs quickly,” Chairman Howell said. “Additionally, the Commerce Department and other state officials, including myself, are working diligently to attract new businesses to our area that can help provide job opportunities to people across our region.”