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Former Bemidji area strand board plant workers seek new career paths

Published 09/23/2009, Bemidji Pioneer

Vancouver-based Ainsworth Lumber Co. announced in January 2009 that it would permanently close its oriented strand board mills in Bemidji and Cook, Minn. After a second wave of layoffs, the Bemidji mill ceased operations in December 2008, putting about 140 area employees out of work. “You can’t walk through the halls here without running into someone you used to work with,” said Curt Peterson, a former utility worker at the mill who's now frequenting the halls and classrooms of Bemidji's Northwest Technical College.

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