127 jobs lost as Lanett plant shuts down

LANETT, Ala. (AP) - An east Alabama plant that makes wood panels is shutting down March 21 due to the downturn in homebuilding, with 127 workers to lose their jobs.

The closing of Norbord mill at Lanett was announced in a statement that said poor prices and the "deterioration of homebuilding activity" in the Southeast prompted the decision.

Chambers County Commissioner Henry Osborne said Wednesday he hopes the plant will resume operations soon.

Commission Chairman Jack Bunn said the in-progress Kia plant at a nearby Georgia site and Kia suppliers will bring jobs, but it "isn't going to feed anybody tomorrow."

The state Department of Industrial Relations reported in December that Chambers County, which saw a once-thriving textile industry collapse, has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 14.6 percent.

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