Top stories of 2016: The end of an era

In January, Alcoa announced that it would cease smelting operations due to a continued decline in the price of aluminum.

By May, 600 people were without a job.

The smelter had been in operation since 1960. It had long been Warrick County’s largest employer.

The closure marked a reduction of aluminum production by one million metric tons.

Alcoa said the midwest transaction aluminum price dropped approximately 30 percent in 2015, with the Alumina Price Index falling approximately 40 percent.

The rolling mill — which employs 1,100 — and the power plant — which employs 135 — is still in operation.

“We recognize how deeply this decision impacts employees and we are committed to work closely with our employees, unions and community stakeholders to support them through this transition,” said Roy Harvey, President of Alcoa’s Global Primary Products. “Despite the hard work of employees, these assets are not competitive. We’re confident that these actions are the right ones in face of these challenging market conditions.”

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