White River sawmill reopens, more hiring ahead
White River Forest Products says it wants its experienced workers back on the job
After sitting idle for years, the sawmill in White River is running once again.
About 70 workers are there this week, including Carole Proulx. She and her husband were among the 250 employees who lost their jobs back in 2007.
"It's been tough. My husband's been out west for five years now," she said. "I'm here now, working back at the mill. He's not coming right away. We're going to wait and see if the mill stays open and if everything goes to par then he'll be back home as well."
The head of White River Forest Products said he expects to add a second shift in October.
Bringing back former workers is key to the mill's success, Frank Dottori said.
"We've got a core of employees here with 20-30 years of experience," he added.
"They know exactly what to do … they know … how the wood should be cut, how this should be cut."
Dottori noted the biggest challenge is to bring in new technology, as it's changed over the last several years.
Re-opening the mill has made a huge difference in the community, Proulx noted.
"I can see a few more smiles going on," she said. "I've noticed a lot of husbands coming home, their wives are happy to have them home. I'm just waiting for my chance."