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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Hundreds Impacted By Closure Of Coshocton Plant

Tuesday was the final day of work for employees at WestRock Paper Mill.

One of Coshocton's largest employers shut down Tuesday night, leaving hundreds without a job.

Tuesday was the final day of work for employees at WestRock Paper Mill, but 10TV has learned a difficult day was made a little easier thanks to the generosity of the community.

"[It’s] 10 days before Christmas. You have two children, and so the initial panic was, oh my gosh what are we going to do,” Tiffany Swigert said.

For families like the Swigert’s, life has been a struggle this holiday.

"For our family it was a rollercoaster ride. We had some really great days, we had some really bad days,” Swigert said.

Tiffany and her husband Gene were blindsided when WestRock decided to close its doors for good.

Tiffany called the guys working for WestRock a family of their own. Her husband had been there almost 10 years, but some of his brothers had been there more than 30.

"He truly hoped to retire from there. That was a company that for eight years really provided our family with the benefits we needed to raise our children and have a nice home,” Swigert said.

In October, WestRock announced it would close its plant in Coshocton and layoff more than 200 employees.

The parking lot Tuesday night at the WestRock plant is empty and all locked up. Employees clocked out for the last time, just one week before Christmas. Some of them even left behind memorabilia.

"It's painful. It's very painful for our community,” Lynn Jacobs said.

Jacobs and his team at Coshocton County Job and Family Services stepped in after that helping dozens of people, like Swigert, get back to work.

"From the mayor's office, port authority, chamber of commerce, everybody, what can we do to help, what can we do to help, and they really rallied for the men at WestRock,” Jacobs said.

The support didn’t stop there. Churches, businesses and neighbors offered up anything they could. In Coshocton, the gift of comfort is all some families needed this Christmas.

"Really in Coshocton community is what it's about, and so our neighbors, and our friends, and our co-workers, the way that they came towards us and helped support us in this time was incredible,” Swigert said.

Coshocton County Job and Family Services says moving forward, its plan is to continue to help those who are still without a job.