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Lubrizol to Continue Providing Pay and Benefits to Employees Through Mid-September


The parent company for the former Chemtool plant in Rockford is still working on a long-term plan for employees displaced after a chemical fire in June.

In a statement to WNIJ, Alicia Gauer, a spokesperson for Lubrizol says the grease manufacturing company continues to provide full pay and benefits to the displaced workers. She says they are working with employees and local businesses to help them find new jobs.

According to the statement, Lubrizol recently hosted a job fair for employees, as well as offered resume and interview workshops. Lubrizol will also provide a placement bonus for employees who accept a role outside of the company.

Gauer says more than a third of displaced workers have been placed in new opportunities within Lubrizol or with outside organizations.

Dozens of workers were safely evacuated from the building after the chemical fire destroyed the facility.

It took crews several days to put out the blaze.

Since then, health officials continue to monitor air and water samples to determine the long-term impact of the fire. Nearby Severson Dells Nature Center is also helping residents make sense of the latest reports from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Lubrizol intends to provide full pay to employees of the former Chemtool plant through mid-September, and benefits through Sept. 30.

Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.