On Tuesday, Dexter Shoe Company announced that it will close its Maine manufacturing facility in Dexter by the end of the year due to global economic pressures. This unfortunate decision will result in the loss of 475 good jobs in the Dexter area.
Our community - still grieving with the rest of the country over the tragic events in New York and Washington, D.C. last week - met this somber news with further anguish. And yet, much like the countless families effected by the recent terrorism, we must go forward, even though there is some uncertainty in the immediate future.
I have been in touch with the Maine Department of Labor and representatives from Dexter Shoe to see what can be done to ease the burden of these hardworking men and women. Besides severance pay, there may also be some federal assistance available to displaced workers. On September 28th, there will be a gathering of various state and federal agencies at the Dexter town office to discuss what can be done. Tomorrow (September 19th) Governor King will join Representative Tobin and me at 12:30 p.m. at the Dexter Shoe Company to discuss the matter.
In the meantime, this is yet another in a long list of challenges Maine workers have had to overcome. From the closing of the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone in the early 90s, to the more recent layoffs at EnvisioNet in Brunswick, Maine workers have demonstrated the fortitude to continue on during difficult times.
This will be no different. Somehow we will get through this tough time. Meanwhile, it is important that we all come together as a community and see what local, state and federal resources may be available that will provide some short-term relief until something more permanent comes along.
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