Ward Lumber has been an important part of our North Country community since it opened in 1890. It is now operated as two businesses - Ward Lumber and the Ward Pine Mill - by the Ward brothers, who are carrying on their grandfather's legacy in the region. During my visit, Jeff Ward showed me around the Pine Mill and I learned about the intensive procedure of processing lumber and discussed their problems with finding employees. Then, I met with Jay Ward and some of the managers and board members to talk about the transition to a workers cooperative and some of the issues they are currently facing between unemployment surcharges and housing affordability for their employees. New York State needs to do whatever they can to support locally owned businesses like these and I will continue to push for the resources they need to keep serving their communities
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