25 Year Brokaw Mill Employee Proud of Work

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

After working at Wausau Paper's Brokaw paper mill for years and even decades, employees face the reality that soon they'll be out of work.

On Wednesday, Wausau Paper announced it was selling it's print and color brands, which are produced at the Brokaw mill, and would close the mill by March 31st.

The company cites the reason for the closure as a dramatic decrease in market demand for the print and color brands, which will be sold to Neenah Paper.

Though there have been rumblings of a possible shutdown for awhile, it's still a long road ahead for the 450 employees about to lose their jobs. They're expected to be laid off by February 10th.

Many of the employees, like John Case, 56, have worked at the mill for half their lives. Case isn't sure how to move forward after working at the mill for 25 years.

"Between the whole Case family, we've got 281 years of service between my uncles, my aunts and my grandfather," he said.

He says he's proud of his time at the mill and says everyone there is like family.

But since he hasn't had to look for work in so long, he'll need help with things like writing a resume.

"It's a little scary," he said. "But you have to do what you have to do."

Case says his salary was enough to support his wife and three daughters, and he'll make sure he continues to provide for them.

Though the closure didn't come as a surprise, the way he found out did.

"My wife ran up to me and gave me a hug in tears and told me that she found out I had lost my job through facebook."

He's disappointed he didn't receive word from the company sooner. He received an official letter in the mail Thursday, 24 hours after the company issued a press release. But he isn't disgruntled, and says Wausau Paper has been a good company to work for.

Case says his family will make some changes as they adjust to less income, and will be forced to eliminate certain luxuries.

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