42nd District lawmakers react to Alcoa curtailment
Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Reps. Luanne Van Werven and Vincent Buys, both R-Lynden, issued the following statement in response to the announcement from Alcoa, Inc., that it will idle aluminum smelters in Wenatchee and Ferndale. The Alcoa Intalco Works in Ferndale employs more than 500 people.
“We share the shock and dismay of the entire community at the announcement Monday that Alcoa will curtail operations at its Ferndale and Wenatchee smelters. These were the last two of seven aluminum plants that once operated in Washington. This year the Washington Legislature passed a bill extending a tax incentive for aluminum-smelting operations, but it appears that wasn't enough.
“This curtailment will have a major effect. Ten years ago a study showed these two plants have a combined economic impact on the state of a quarter-billion dollars annually. More important than the loss to the economy is the effect on the people who will lose their jobs, and on the families they support.
“We will work to direct state resources to support any workers that are displaced. We will reach out to the company to seek ways to keep hope alive. And in coming weeks and months we will search for answers about why this happened.
“But for now our focus must be on those individuals who will be hurt. Our hearts go out to them, and we pledge our support for whatever assistance we may be able to provide. This is a difficult moment for our community and our state, and human needs must be our first priority.”
###Washington State House Republican Communications