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Help For Appvion Workers

The century old Appvion paper mill announced on Monday they were closing their doors, leaving employees surprised at the news, and the loss of their jobs in the next coming months.

And local garage owner, Michael Walter says he wants to help ease the burden.

“The community has been such a blessing to me that if I can be a blessing in return in any little way, I want I do that.”

Walter says he too has faced hardships.

“I work for the government and their failure to pass consist budgets on time it left my family in a bind a lot of times. On a government salary when money gets tight, and then they stop paying you and you have to still go to work what are you going to do you can’t sign up for unemployment or anything, so I started this garage to fill that gap.”

Stephen McKnight from the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation says hes concerned that dozens of employees, will lose their jobs. So, they activated the regional workforce rapid response team.

“It’s a good paying union job, even though it’s a good job they suffered through a swing shift which is awful working conditions anyhow, but at least they had some pay and benefits to go with it where some of the jobs in the community now are just not going to be up to par with that”

But the garage is offering anyone for the next three months who was an employee of the mill discounted service.

“They might have a good running vehicle but now they are all worried about ‘we can’t spend’, well say their vehicle is running good and they need an inspection a lot of garages, it’s in the neighborhood of 60 to 70 dollars to get your car safety and emissions inspected right now. And that’s 60 and 70 dollars to be spent on food or to be saved for a rainy day.”

Shortly after he posted the offer on Facebook, another local business decided to step up as well, making mill employees car inspections free of cost.

“I just hope that people take advantage of it, because I know when times were tight for me I wish someone would have saved me 50 bucks ahah”

Local officials say the timing of the closure is unfortunate, and they hope something can be worked out in the future.

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