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CU System
Plant closure affects CU but were here for the long haul
FRANKLIN, Va. (12/22/09)--The closure next year of a paper mill will impact a Franklin, Va.-based credit union, but the impact is "manageable," according to its CEO. When International Paper announced it would close its Franklin paper mill, the $208 million asset Bronco FCU went into action, reassuring members it was prepared to assist them with financial problems they might experience from the closures (The Virginian-Pilot Dec. 21). Nearly 14% of Bronco's 18,990 members work at the facility. The closure's impact of "isn't insignificant, but we think it's manageable," CEO Bob Petty told the newspaper. He posted a letter on Bronco's Web site assuring members that the credit union is "here for the long haul." Three years ago the credit union became a community chartered credit union to diversify its membership instead of relying on a single employer-sponsor. To respond to members' concerns, the credit union created a team that addresses financial education needs such as inquiries from International Paper employees with questions about severance payments and rolling over their 401(k) retirement plans, Pam Vaughan, marketing and human resources manager at the credit union, told the paper. A second team works with members who encounter financial difficulties, she said. In addition to losing 828 jobs at International Paper, the area's communities may lose twice that number in jobs from the effects of the mill's shutdown on other businesses, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Those losses could trigger financial difficulties for borrowers and depress demand for home loans, car loans and other credit, the article said.
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