Labor Day: Saluting all our quiet heroes

This Labor Day, unfortunately, seems a bit more somber than others. In less than four months, hundreds of blue-collar workers will be out of work at the Carriage House facility in Fredonia when the closing becomes official.

These who will be displaced are really what today’s holiday is all about. They showed up. They helped grow a company. And, they gave back to this community – in volunteer efforts, United Way campaigns and by supporting area benefits.

They all are quiet heroes – and many of them live right here. They are our neighbors and friends.

We’re not quite sure what lies ahead for them or the current Carriage House site, but we do know many will qualify for some job retraining that was announced last week.

There are, however, some silver linings at other area locations. We know NRG Energy Inc. is in the midst of repowering its plant. This will bring additional construction jobs – and keep a major business in operation for 10 years.

Lake Shore Hospital and TLC Network are improving their position, which means about 300 jobs will continue at the financially troubled facility. Brooks Hospital, just as troubled, reached a tentative agreement with its largest union that represents 170 workers.

Cott also continues to plug along. Formerly Cliffstar, the company has made recent investments in the plant and continues to hire employees from the area. ECR International is making strides as well.

And, on Page B10, Nestle Purina is saluting its work force with a full-page advertisement. Nestle is definitely an area success story.

Our hundreds of small businesses, which rely on local support, are as well.

This area – and state – still have a ways to go in helping boost additional business and industry. But one thing is certain: our region’s work force is as dedicated as it comes.

Enjoy your day.