Bootheel leaders meet for first time to discuss Noranda

Bootheel leaders meet for first time to discuss Noranda

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - The struggle continues in New Madrid County as the community scrambles to figure out their next steps for hundreds of laid-off Noranda workers, and the possible closing of the plant next month.

More than two dozen leaders, including Congressman Jason Smith, came to the meeting to discuss possible solutions.

One issue discussed was potential job opportunities and training for workers.

Leaders plan to hold more job fairs, and schools like SEMO and Three Rivers discussed training courses catered to Noranda workers.

Another issue a commissioner argued was Missouri's lack of a "Right-to-work" bill. Smith felt it's one thing keeping companies from moving to the area.

He said even though the worst hasn't happened yet, leaders must start figuring it out right now.

"It had a huge impact to our region and we need to look about the future and how we can help immediately," Smith said. "These workers that have been displaced, but also how we can help them find jobs and bring new manufactures to our region to help our community grow and become stronger."

New Madrid County leaders said they have been in talks with businesses trying to get them to move down to their county.

We've also learned that Noranda officials are scheduled to have a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

They have not, however, released any details on what they'll be discussing.

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