SHELTON – Olympic Panel Products is preparing to shut down its operations beginning in July, leaving more than 200 employees jobless.
“They are going to start closing July 22,” said Lynn Longan, Mason County Economic Development Council executive director. “It will be over three or four weeks.”
Longan said the specialty plywood siding manufacturer’s intent to close has been known for more than a year.
The closure comes after Simpson Lumber closed its Shelton waterfront mill in April 2015, leaving about 270 employees jobless.
Longan said the EDC is prepared to assist out-of-work employees through the “Workforce Transition Center” originally set up for laid-off Simpson employees.
The transition center provides a haven for workers to seek other jobs.
“It’s kind of a support group as well,” Longan said.
The EDC is working with Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and WorkSource to assist unemployed workers, she said.
The region’s congressional representatives have also sent staff to assist laid off workers, she said.
The state Department of Commerce, the governor’s office and Olympic College are also involved, according to Longan.
The news came Wednesday when the state Employment Security Department issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice concerning loss of jobs and the closure for Olympic Panel.
Sierra Pacific, meanwhile, is building a new state-of-the-are sawmill and lumber planing operation on the Shelton waterfront site that will employee about 200.