Just hours after Century Aluminum retirees approved a new proposal to reinstate partial health benefits, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today applauded the efforts of the state Legislature, Century Aluminum and the company's retirees for their collaborative efforts to reopen the Jackson County plant.
"In a matter of hours, the economic outlook for Jackson County exploded with potential due to the retiree agreement and, now, state legislation designed to help Century Aluminum reopen and put hundreds of West Virginians back to work," Gov. Tomblin said. "The revitalization of Jackson County's manufacturing industry with jobs, benefits and confidence that better days are on the horizon. I am eager to see the first shift report for work at Century Aluminum."
Earlier today, Gov. Tomblin called the Legislature into an extraordinary session to consider a bill to establish, implement and administer a tax credit and required payment program designed to enhance the prospects of restarting a large energy-intensive manufacturing facility. Century retirees met with Gov. Tomblin and legislators last week to express their support for this legislation.
"We have been on an amazing journey. It is a great day to be a West Virginian," said Karen Gorrell, the grassroots organizer of the Century Aluminum retirees. "We are thrilled that there are going to be so many winners: Jackson County, the laid off employees and the retirees that I care so much about. We are incredibly grateful to state of West Virginia, led by Governor Tomblin who truly care about its people and the promises that are made to them. We are now one step closer to seeing metal made again in the U.S.A."