Legislators and residents join Harbor Paper for their reopening celebration
Governor Christine Gregoire, Congressman Norm Dicks, gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee, Senator Jim Hargrove, Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney, and Owner Cesar Scolari were just some of the speakers yesterday at the community celebration for the reopening of Harbor Paper.
Hundreds of residents, workers, and local officials joined the speakers for the celebration.
Mayor Durney took time to thank not only those who have got the mill restarted, but those who kept it operational following its closure, saying that they were the reason the mill start was seamless.
Senator Hargrove spoke on the impact many residents felt in early September. He said it was hard to not shed a tear at the first sight of steam returning to the stacks.
When Harbor Paper Owner Cesar Scolari got up to speak, both legislators and the crowd erupted in a standing ovation for the man responsible for financing the reopening. Scolari thanked the workers, and especially CEO John Begley for the work that he has done. In his closing, Scolari reassured the crowd that Harbor Paper has no plans of leaving any time soon. “Paper making paper is what we’re doing, and we’ll do that always”
Governor Gregoire closed the ceremonies, and she spoke of not only the work that the owners, workers, and financiers have done, but of the support that has been shown from the Grays Harbor community, saying that once again “we’re a family”.
Harbor Paper is currently in full production, providing 175 family wage jobs to the community.