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Marcal Paper to launch job search website for employees; air quality being monitored

The Record, Bergen County logo The Record, Bergen County 2/5/2019 Anthony Zurita and Scott Fallon
a lit up city at night: The Marcal Paper sign, an iconic since the 1940s, falls during fire on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. © John Clark/Special to NorthJersey.com The Marcal Paper sign, an iconic since the 1940s, falls during fire on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

ELMWOOD PARK — In the wake of a devastating fire Wednesday night at Marcal Paper Mills that left 500 people unemployed, company officials are focusing on the future of the workers, with parent company Soundview Paper on Monday outlining assistance available. 

Meanwhile, the company says it is monitoring environmental effects on the neighborhood from the long-burning fire.  

Soundview Paper released two statements on Monday outlining what forms of assistance will be available for those left without work. 

“Marcal is coordinating with local public- and private-sector partners to identify potential employers interested in helping provide opportunities to those who lost employment due to the fire on Wednesday night. We are sharing that information with our team members and hope to hold a broader employer event in the coming days," Soundview said in one statement.

Another announced that Marcal will be launching an employment opportunity website on Tuesday, allowing employees to search "hundreds of open positions" at local businesses and at companies owned by Atlas Holdings, the holding company for Soundview Paper. 

More: Officials scramble to help 500 workers find jobs after Marcal fire

More: When the Marcal Paper factory burned, a way of life ended

All employees will be sent a link to the website, where they will be able to browse job openings. Soundview did not comment on how the businesses are being selected or how businesses can participate.  

Soundview said a small number of employees will remain on the payroll for an undetermined length of time to assist with shipping of inventory and site assessment and recovery efforts at the Elmwood Park location. The majority of the associates, however, are officially unemployed. 

Marcal will "increase operations" at its Vermont location and aims to continue the production and distribution of its products. 

Bergen New Bridge Medical Center said Friday that displaced Marcal workers can apply for jobs, receive offers and start work in as short a time as two business days.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare is donating temporary office space for several dozen Marcal employees at its Garret Mountain location, enabling Marcal to restore some business functions and support its employees. Behavioral health counselors from St. Joseph’s Health are also being offered around the clock to assist any Marcal team member affected by the fire.

Air quality concerns

Although the Marcal fire generated enough smoke to be seen on radar drifting across Long Island, New Jersey officials said Monday that air pollution levels did not exceed safety standards in the neighborhood surrounding the plant.

“There was nothing of concern, nothing that exceeded any levels,” said Caryn Shinske, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP emergency response workers, along with Bergen County health officials, toured the smoldering site a day after the fire with handheld air monitors that showed pollution had not exceeded safety standards, Shinske said.

A consultant for Marcal placed three air monitors downwind of the plant and one upwind to see if small particles, such as soot, were in the air. So far, there have been “no issues,” Shinske said.

Parts of North Jersey experienced poor air quality on Monday, but the causes were most likely car emissions, constant sunlight and little wind.

Email: zuritaa@northjersey.com

This article originally appeared on North Jersey Record: Marcal Paper to launch job search website for employees; air quality being monitored

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