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DPI Shocks Alpena Community with Announcement They’re Closing

Shock on Thursday morning when employees at Decorative Panels International arrived for work but were told they weren’t allowed inside.

DPI announced on Thursday they would be closing their operations at their locations in Toledo, Ohio and Alpena, Michigan.

Alpena Mayor Cindy Johnson said the city is just as surprised as the over 100 workers at the plant. “Our heart goes out to you,” she said. “We’re here for you. We will stand behind you as a community. We will do whatever we can. I know I speak on behalf of the entire community in Alpena. This is this is a shock to all of us, and I can’t imagine what they went through this morning.”

Bobby Cramer has worked at DPI for the past four and a half years and didn’t find out about the closing until seeing it in the news. “We found out through the press,” he said. “They never said nothing to us. The press is the reason why we found out we were not employed here anymore, and I just find it to be kind of like a slap in the face.”

The plant will continue operations for now, but only a select few employees will be allowed on the property. “They’re going to reach out in the next couple of days and let us know what happens with union negotiations,” Johnson said. “How many employees will stay for how long and what they’re going to do for their employees.”

At this point, Cramer doesn’t know where he and his family go from here.  “All of us are just left in the dark,” he said. “Now we have to try to figure out how we’re going to survive this and put food on the table for our babies and families.”

Mayor Johnson is hoping strong leadership will get the city through the closure of DPI. “We have a fantastic economic development team led by Mike Mahler that will get right on things and and we will be fine,” she said. “We have weathered plant closings before. It’s never been fun, but we have always risen to the challenge.”