Simplot to close Aberdeen potato plant, lay off hundreds

9 Nov

The J.R. Simplot Company announced it will close potato plants in Aberdeen and Nampa, to open a new, state-of-the-art processing plant in Caldwell, Idaho

The closure of the two plants in Aberdeen in Nampa will result in the loss of just under 800 jobs over the next two to three years. Simplot won’t divulge the cost of the new facility, but company president and CEO Bill Whitacre said the move will be the largest single investment the company has ever made in Idaho.

“We struggled with this very difficult decision and we know the closures will have an impact on many of our employees and their families,” said Whitacre in a press release. “We will be doing what we can to ease the transition as it occurs, including providing separation packages, on-site counseling, out-placement services and other forms of assistance.”

Current employees will have the opportunity to apply for the 250 jobs at the new plant, so not everyone will be put out of a job.

Construction on the new Caldwell plant will begin in May with processing to start by spring 2014. Simplot has been operating out of the Aberdeen plant since 1973, and acquired the Nampa plant from Nestle in 2000.

[via Local News 8]

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