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Governor going to International Falls in wake of layoffs

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The job climate has chilled in the town that brags that it is the "Nation's Icebox."

MPR reports that Gov. Mark Dayton will address that when he travels to International Falls on Wednesday. Earlier this month almost 300 workers were laid off at the town's main employer, the Boise paper mill.

The Boise facility is in the process of being sold to Illinois-based Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). MPR said the governor called PCA's chief executive officer to talk about the remaining 580 jobs at the mill.

“He was very reassuring,” the governor said. “I came away very hopeful that they are going to pay off some of the debt but then invest in the plant and give it a good future.”

Dayton said he will talk about state assistance for the area, including retraining employees. He also indicated he would support funding for a new sewer line along Rainy Lake to be included in the bonding bill. It would help resorts in the area.

Meanwhile, the International Falls Journal reported that some laid off Boise employees are eligible for a federal program for reemployment and job assistance offered through the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance. The program helps workers obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed. But for the time being, federal TAA operations are suspended due to the government shutdown.

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