Families Brace for Layoffs

By: Sabrina Wu
By: Sabrina Wu

Many families in Wisconsin Rapids are tightening their belts right now.

Stora Enso, a major employer in the area has announced it will lay off nearly 150 workers by mid-December. It's an especially tough time for the community with the holidays approaching. Dozens of them won't be getting paychecks soon, and many say they can't get help from the county, either.

"Some of the people that fell through the cracks here, fell through because they made too much money a month ago," says Wood County Red Cross Director Susan Weimer. Weimer says that's because recently laid-off workers people may not fit into the criteria for help from county agencies.

"I can't speak for those agencies," Weimer says. " I don't know what they're criteria is exactly, but some of them may not be eligible for quite some time. And in that period of time, what do they do?"

People in Wisconsin Rapids say the layoffs aren't just changing where people work in their community, but it's also changing a way of life for them. They say some people who live there have worked at the mill for generations.

This is the second work-force reduction announced by Stora Enso this year.

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