Senators Ask Gov. Robert Bentley To Help Russell Plant Workers

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By Alabama News Network

Russell plans to close their Wetumpka plant starting July 29. This isn't the first time that business has left Wetumpka. 

This time lawmakers are hoping the governor can help with the transition. 
 
The plant has been many things in the past, pumping up basketballs and footballs before making clothing. Mayor Jerry Willis says it's especially hard in today's economy when something like this happens. 
 
"It was kind of a surprise. It wasn't something that was totally unexpected. When you deal with this you never know. I  mean we've lost textile businesses here before an when this switched over to the spaulding operation," said Mayor Willis. 
 
Ronetia Bowman used to work at the plant and still has friends there who will be losing their jobs soon.
 
"They not doing anything now. They might work a week, be off a week. So, I feel sorry for the ones who have kids because the kids are going to be the ones that suffer," said Bowman.
 
State Senator Bryan Taylor says that the state government is working to make the transition easier for those losing their jobs. Lawmakers have asked the governor to send rapid response teams to the plant to help workers. 
 
"Call our offices, their senators, their representatives. And we'll help them navigate the system and make sure they get transition benefits to make sure they're aware of other job opportunities and training opportunities," said Senator Taylor. 
 
Community members are sad to see another business leave, but they think there are other opportunities, like the incoming casino expansion. 
 
 

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