Step up for Rutland Plywood
At this time, I want to express my sincere sadness for the loss of Rutland Plywood and 170 jobs lost last week. Around 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, I went to the plant to find the Rutland Town Fire Department rolling up their hoses and heading back to the fire station.
I met with plant manager Benny Notte who informed me that action taken by employees had saved the company. As I toured the plant with Mr. Notte, there were few visible signs of a plant fire. Mr. Notte informed me that the third shift would be working that evening. I gave Mr. Notte my contact card and left the property.
On the ride home, I felt relieved to know at that time a “major calamity” had been averted. Several hours later, I received a phone call from a family member informing me that Rutland Plywood had burnt to the ground. I returned to the property on the morning of Aug. 21 to find flames, smoke and twisted steel.
Again I met with Mr. Notte and Fire Marshal Sutton of the Vermont State Police. Later that day, I spoke with Commissioner of Labor Annie Noonan, who informed me that she had sent the state’s rapid response team to Rutland to deal with this tragedy.
The next day, I attended an employees’ meeting on Park Street in Rutland City. The state of Vermont did seem to have its ducks in a row, as there were several state agencies assisting with paperwork and giving valuable information to these former employees.
One person in the crowd said that he had already found a new job. It is hoped that other companies in Rutland County would be willing to absorb this job loss. Depending on the finances and the desire of Mr. Jack Barrett, the company could rise from the ashes and be rebuilt.
Should any former employee of Rutland Plywood need assistance in the future, I can be reached at 855-1945. Again, my sincere condolences to Rutland Plywood owner Jack Barrett and the 170 employees who are now unemployed.
Rep. THOMAS TERENZINI