A special meeting of the Monett Industry Council was held on Aug. 7 to discuss ramifications of the closing of the extrusion division at the Monett Hydro Aluminum plant. The closing on Oct. 15 is expected to eliminate 140 manufacturing jobs while retaining 60 jobs in the remelt division.
Members of the Monett City Council and about 20 representatives from other Monett industries attended.
According to Jeff Meredith, executive director for the Monett Chamber of Commerce, information was distributed on the positions being lost in Monett and the skills involved, including the use of equipment. Interest was expressed in hiring some of the Hydro employees.
Meredith said he contacted businesses in nearby communities and found around 20 openings available. He also contacted the chambers in Aurora, Mt. Vernon and Cassville to alert them to the availability of Hydro's workers.
Individual interviews are expected to be offered by prospective employers. A job fair will likely be held in another month, organized through the Missouri Career Center.
Leslie Abram, the rapid resource coordinator at Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri, of Joplin, attended the meeting at Meredith's invitation. Abram said that because more than 50 jobs are involved, the state will send a team to assist in placing the workers.
Meredith said the meeting was productive. The industry leaders were told the future of the Hydro property has not been finalized. Efforts were being made to find new jobs in the area for affected workers, Meredith added.