Gov. Jack Dalrymple today requested Archer Daniels Midland officials work with state and local officials and private developers to consider alternatives to the company's planned closing of its ethanol plant in Walhalla, N.D.
"I spoke with and encouraged ADM management to make sure they pursue all other options before closing the plant," Dalrymple said. "I stressed the importance of taking care of the employees and I offered the state's assistance in finding another company to operate the plant and to evaluate the plant's other potential uses."
Greg Webb, ADM's vice president of government relations, told Dalrymple that the company will offer employees jobs at other ADM facilities or provide severance packages. He said some jobs may be available at the company's processing facilities in Enderlin and Velva.
Dalrymple has directed the North Dakota Department of Commerce to work with ADM and local officials to analyze the plant's infrastructure, workforce capabilities and potential uses. Commerce will also help identify and recruit potential investors and is prepared to assist in an operational transition by providing loan assistance, job training and other support programs.
Additionally, North Dakota Job Service will provide rapid response services for the plant's employees. Job Service staff members are making plans to be on-site at the Walhalla plant to provide unemployment and job search assistance. Job Service will schedule four meeting sessions to accommodate all staff and shifts. Additionally, a job service analyst is evaluating the occupations of affected workers and identifying available North Dakota jobs that require similar skill sets, knowledge and abilities. The North Dakota Department of Human Services also is available to provide support services. The agency's Grand Forks office can be contacted at (701) 795-3000 and the Grafton office at (701) 352-4334.