The governor and other state officials were in western Iowa Thursday to meet with managers of the Tyson meatpacking plant in Council Bluffs where 480 employees will be laid off in mid-March.
“Given the tough economic realities that we’re all dealing with we have a lot of concerns about job loss and so we want to be as proactive as we can,” Culver said. “It’s also important to note that a lot of small businesses are impacted when we have these types of layoffs and we want to work with those small businesses and companies that might be impacted in some way, directly or indirectly, because of this layoff.”
Tyson is laying off about a third of its workforce rather than closing the plant as Culver and Iowa Workforce Development director Elisabeth Buck suggested Monday during a news conference at the statehouse. Buck was in Council Bluffs Thursday.
“I think one of the great things about this community is we have a lot of collaboration in our workforce area,” Buck said. “We really worked very closely with our local community college to make sure that all of these workers are being served at whatever level of service they need.”
Tyson will shift some production from Council Bluffs to plants in Tennessee and Texas, but plans to keep the Council Bluffs plant operating with about 950 workers on the payroll. The Tyson facility in Council Bluffs does not slaughter animals. Instead, workers package steaks, gound beef, roasts, chops and other meat items for direct placement in a grocer’s meat case.
The governor also made stops in Webster City and in Sioux City yesterday to discuss plant closures in those two communities.