Voices of the mill: Joanne Moore, 57, of Arlington
Fork Truck Driver, 38 years
The Last Smokestack
Faces of the mill
More mill stories
- Federal aid to help 570 K-C mill employees find work (April 2012)
- Julie Muhlstein: Kimberly-Clark mill's end ‘devastating' (January 2012)
- Mike Benbow: 'Last of the big smokestacks' (September 2011)
- Op-Ed: Weigh in on the K-C site's future (March 2012)
- Pete Jackson: More than pulp and steam (September 2011)
- Talks begin on future of Kimberly-Clark mill site (April 2012)
- Voices of the mill: A strawberry princess turned boiler operator (March 2012)
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.
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