SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- The economic impact of losing nearly a thousand jobs is really starting to hit home in Snyder County after the county's biggest employer, Wood-Mode, shut its doors abruptly Monday.
Now, hundreds of laid-off workers are trying to rebuild their lives.
Michele Sanders had an unexpected day off with her kids in Selinsgrove. She worked at Wood-Mode for 22 years. The custom cabinet-making plant shut down without any notice for the 900 people who worked there.
She applied to three jobs Tuesday morning and filed for unemployment.
“That's what hurts the most, that we were a team. We were a family. Now, we're all in the same boat. We're all sitting here shaking our heads and trying to figure out what we're going to do,” Sanders said.
Six companies along Route 522 near Wood-Mode have already put out "now hiring" signs. Former employees say these signs are new.
“We have a lot of new signs along 522 because a lot of the employers around here realize that we had good employees at Wood-Mode. There's a lot of good people looking for work, so they realize it would be a good chance to pick up a good valued employee,” said Brian Wilson, former Wood-Mode employee.
Many organizations in central Pennsylvania are trying to help those former Wood-Mode employees find new work.
Governor Tom Wolf is sending his rapid response team to hold a meeting at Susquehanna University next Tuesday, exclusively for former Wood-Mode employees.
“It's very appreciated for someone to step up and help us because for 900 people to go out of work the same day, it makes for a rough situation for everyone,” Wilson added.
Joel Weist is an attorney in the Selinsgrove area. He's offering free legal advice to any former Wood-Mode employees, and hundreds have already reached out. He wants to have a public meeting soon to answer any common questions.
“I’m getting a lot of questions about workers compensation, about unemployment, about pension and retirement issues,” Wiest said.
Hundreds of Wood-Mode employees will be coming back to the plant Wednesday for the last time to pick up their final pay checks.