Final Payday for Belpre Plant Workers

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

A plant that has provided local people with jobs for half a century closed its doors last week.

Tuesday afternoon employees who returned to the plant to pick up their last pay check.

Harlen Colvin started working at the plant in 1988 when International Converter took over.

And Tuesday was payday, which should have been a good day.

"It's a good plant to work at," Colvin said.

But he doesn't work there anymore, and neither do 56 others who all lost their jobs when the plant closed last week.

"I was their main man. I was a fork-truck driver in the back. I kept the place running," Larry Brandeberry, a former plant worker, said.

Brandeberry was just months away from celebrating 40 years at the plant.

"I spent over two thirds of my life here for these people, and I got me quite a Christmas present that I received," he said.

So now with the factory's doors closing for good, 57 unemployed people are all asking themselves the same question, "what now?"

"Now I'll have to draw me up a resume and go looking for a job," Colvin said.

"I'm looking at going back to school right now because the only thing I'm qualified for is factory work, and there just isn't anything out there right now," Kelly Lee said.

"I will probably look at taking early retirement," Brandeberry said.

Human resources director, Jo LeMoine, said the company has brought in work force development teams on a weekly basis to help employees find other jobs.

International Converter does own another plant in Caldwell, Ohio with some available positions that these workers can apply for.


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