March 27, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOVERNOR SHUMLIN FAILS TO RESCUE NORTHEAST KINGDOM JOBS
Plant Decides to Close Its Doors While Governor Shumlin Vacations
Montpelier, Vt. — Kennametal, the town of Lyndon’s oldest manufacturer, announced yesterday that it would be closing its doors for good (James Jardine, Kennametal to Close, March 26, 2014, The Caledonian Record). This will cost Vermont another 80 well paying jobs and take a heavy toll on this small Northeast Kingdom community.
The plant closure had been rumored for several weeks. The VTGOP issued a statement pleading for Governor Shumlin to return from his Caribbean vacation, meet with officials of the company, and attempt to rescue these very important jobs. (You can read our previous statement here). Unfortunately, the Governor remained on the sand, out of the state, and disengaged from these Vermont workers.
After the plant closure was announced yesterday, Governor Shumlin promised that a “rapid response team” would be assembled and would be in contact with the impacted workers. While helpful after the fact, this is not the type of rapid response these workers needed. They needed a Governor who would lead the fight to work with their company to structure an agreement that could keep these jobs alive and well in Vermont. They needed a rapid response from their Governor, but were left to pound caribbean sand. Now they will get a rapid response from administration bureaucrats who will show them the way to the unemployment line.
“This is a sad day for Lyndon, the Northeast Kingdom, and all of Vermont. The hearts of all Vermonters go out to the Kennametal workers.” said VTGOP Chair David Sunderland. “Unfortunately, we will never know if a more proactive and engaged response from Governor Shumlin could have saved these valuable jobs. Clearly, the policies of this administration are failing Vermonters. Any action now is too late for the 80 people in the Northeast Kingdom who will soon be unemployed — as it is for the hundreds of other Vermonters how have also become victims of the Shumlin economy over just the past few months.”
Kennametal said yesterday they would close their doors for good on June 30, 2014