An idled plywood plant in Cochrane is hoping to bring its employees back to work early in the new year.

The True North mill stopped production a few weeks ago, putting about 100 employees off the job. A financing plan is in place to keep the mill in a holding pattern while the owners search for new investors.

true north hardwood plywood

The True North mill stopped production a few weeks ago, putting about 100 employees off the job in Cochrane, Ont. (www.woodbusiness.ca)

But company president Michael Breen said it's not accurate to say the mill is shut down or mothballed.

"It's like a car that's been on the highway,” he said.

“It's pulled on the side and it's sitting in the parking lot. The engine is still running and we're simply looking for a driver to get back in the seat and get it back out on the highway again."

Breen said he's confident that new investors or owners interested in getting the plant up and running again will be found in the next few months.

When at full production with 240 workers, the mill is Cochrane's largest employer.

Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis said the uncertainty has soured the holidays for some in the town.

"There's all kinds of people that are frustrated,” he said.

“It's Christmas time. They've been in limbo for a while. They're not sure where they're going to go."

Politis said many are expecting a big rebound in the wood business in 2014 and he is hoping the Cochrane plywood plant will be ready to catch that market bounce.