Hawesville mayor expresses concern after Century Aluminum plant shutdown

Hawesville mayor expresses concern after Century Aluminum plant shutdown
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
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HAWESVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - After the Century Aluminum facility in Hawesville announced it will be temporarily shutting down and laying off over 600 employees, Hawesville Mayor Charles King was worried for his community and the people this will affect.

[Century Aluminum stopping operations in Hawesville for 9 to 12 months]

Mayor King says the Century Aluminum plant in Hawesville employs more Hancock County residents than the city of Hawesville’s population.

He says this shutdown is going to be hard on the community, but he’s thankful there are some resources to help employees adjust.

The Kentucky Career Center told 14 News that at no cost to the business or employees, the local Rapid Response Team will be deployed onsite at Century Aluminum in Hawesville for the next four days to help during this transition for the community.

They tell us that employees will be provided with information on re-employment, training, education and applying for unemployment benefits.

Mayor King says he’s glad there’s some help available because he’s worried for the families who are affected by the layoffs and rely on that income.

“If you had a family and say you weren’t in the work place, and your husband calls you up and tells you that. Well, you’ll think oh crap, what are we going to do now, how are we going to adjust to this,” said Mayor King.

He says when he received a call from Century Aluminum’s vice president on Wednesday morning, he didn’t expect it and he started to worry.

“It just absolutely... I hadn’t heard any rumors. It was a shock,” said Mayor King. “It took me a little while to get over that. He told me some good information, but I wasn’t absorbing it because I thought oh crap.”

Mayor King says this temporary shutdown will economically affect the city of Hawesville as it takes a toll on their revenue, but he says that impact isn’t as noticeable for the city as it is for the county as a whole because Hancock County receives the most revenue from the plant’s operation.

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