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Musgrove pledges state support

By Staff
GOVERNOR VISITS QUITMAN Gov. Ronnie Musgrove speaks Monday to residents and officials in Clarke County. The governor said that the state will help the area recover from the closing of Burlington Industries' Stonewall plant next month. Photo by Chris Allen Baker / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Feb. 12, 2002
QUITMAN Gov. Ronnie Musgrove pledged up to $10,000 in state funds on Monday for developing a strategic plan to recover from the closing of Burlington Industries' Stonewall plant next month.
Musgrove, who was in town to meet with residents and officials from Clarke County, also announced an April 23 state-sponsored job fair in Quitman to help plant workers find new jobs.
Burlington Industries, based in North Carolina, announced last month that it plans to sell or close its Stonewall plant on March 31. The move is expected to cost 820 people their jobs.
Burlington closes division
Burlington is closing its denim division plants in the United States, blaming foreign competition and a weak economy. The Stonewall plant has been in operation since the 1860s and is Clarke County's largest employer.
Retired businesswoman Denece Rozzell of Quitman, who attended the meeting with Musgrove, said she feels better about the county's economic future after hearing the governor talk.
Paul Mosley, president of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, also liked what he heard from Musgrove. He said the governor gave a "good speech. I am proud we got some attention."
State offers help
Musgrove introduced his "rapid response" staff so local residents would know who to call with questions. The staff will work closely with leaders in Clarke County.
The governor said that Clarke County could receive some of the $10,000 in state funds within about a month.
Musgrove encouraged Burlington employees to participate in as many job fairs as possible.