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Ochoco Lumber workers get an early start on deciding what to do next

About three dozen soon-to-be laid-off employees from the Ochoco Lumber Company attended a meeting with representatives from various agencies at the library last week. The meeting was called to give the workers and their spouses an opportunity to learn what their options might include when the mill closes its doors next month
When Ochoco Lumber Company ceases operation next month, it won't be the end of things for the employees. That was the message presented by representatives from various agencies at a meeting last week.
   Coordinated by the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), information on training and educational opportunities offered by Central Oregon Community College. Representatives from the state Employment office handed out brochures and a representative from veteran's organizations talked about programs available to qualifying veterans.
   Ann Delach, adult program administrator for COIC, said a number of people had already dropped by her office, looking for information, already preparing for the scheduled closure of the mill on July 30.
   The meeting at the library was organized, she said, because people need to know what their options are.
   "We invited people and asked that they bring their spouses so everybody can get the information all at once," Delach explained.
   The table at the back of the room had been heavily loaded with stacks of brochures, class schedules and booklets of information. By the time the meeting broke up, most of the informational booklets had been taken.
   Ochoco Lumber Company announced last week that because of a lack of timber, after more than 60 years of continuous operation it would shut down the end of July.