Massena, NY, Jan 07, 2011 — There were cheers this morning in Massena, where Alcoa officials just told workers the company will reopen its East smelter after a two-year furlough.
The company will hold a press conference to make the news official at 11 this morning. Alcoa will recall 95 workers who were laid off and hire another 20 to 30 new employees.
Company spokeswoman Laurie Marr said this morning those rehires will begin immediately.
Low aluminum prices as a result of the recession were also a factor in the extended furlough. Prices have been rising steadily in the last several months.
Massena Mayor James Hidy told the Watertown Daily Times the news is "a morale boost for the whole community."
Meanwhile, a planned modernization of the plant has been put on hold. As a part of its low cost power contract, Alcoa was to have invested 600 million dollars into the facility. But the New York Power Authority agreed to let Alcoa put off that project until 2013.