In this series, we’re telling the stories of what the Kimberly-Clark mill closure means for workers and for Everett, which has been defined by mills for more than a century.
Joanne Moore has this memory from her early days working at the Scott Paper Co. in 1973.
She was grabbing a dozen toilet paper rolls at a time and packing them in boxes. They came out so fast, Moore just 18 years old, could hardly keep up.
Her dad, Vince Mardesich, came by on a forklift and she caught his eye and screeched, “I can’t do this!”
“Yes, you can, Joanne,” he told her.
Eventually, she did get the knack for that job and a lot of other ones during her nearly four decades at the mills.
It’s provided her family a good living. Her starting wage was $4.44 an hour, a lot of money in the early 1970s. Before that she made 50 cents an hour babysitting.
In the last several years, she’s driven a forklift — a job she absolutely loves. It’s the same job her father did. Maybe it’s the power of running heavy machinery.
“You get to unload thousands of dollars worth of equipment,” she said. “You’ve got to know what you are doing.”
She wasn’t ready to retire yet. She’s not sure what she’ll do next.
Finding a job today isn’t like it was when she started. Then it was as simple as filling in an application. Now everything is on the Internet.
“I’d rather walk into a place and have them see me, see what kind of person I am,” she said.