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Dealing with Job Losses in Statesville

Statesville officials are trying to deal with the loss of 520 jobs after the Kohler Company announced its shutting down its plant there. Kohler announced yesterday that its closing its Canac kitchen cabinetry business in Statesville by the end of November. Mike Smith, the director of the Greater Statesville Development Corporation, says, "Obviously, it's been a very long time since something like this happened if ever, so that's going to be very difficult to absorb." Smith says he's enlisted the help of the North Carolina Department of Commerce and Mitchell Community College to help re-train laid off workers. Earlier this month a Brazilian company announced it will open a plant in Statesville and create 90 jobs. Smith says that offers some hope, but the city will have to continue luring companies to the area to offset the job losses. In recent years, the Statesville area has been ranked among the top small cities for attracting businesses and jobs.