General Mills slashes jobs: General Mills Layoffs

Published: June 26, 2015

General Mills slashes jobs: General Mills Layoffs, Last year, the food giant announced it would close its Lodi cereal plant and lay off 430 employees, most of whom make roughly $24 an hour plus benefits.

A General Mills spokesperson told KCRA 3 on Thursday it is on track with those Lodi plans, as it lays off people in waves, and will shut down by the end of the year.

Right now, the city of Lodi is trying to attract companies to take over the sprawling 75-acre site.

“It’s certainly going to be a negative impact on our employment situation in Lodi, with this many jobs and all of the jobs that surround it, like trucking and restaurants,” said Mark Chandler, Lodi’s vice-mayor.

The true economic impact could be a loss of more than 1,200 jobs, once you consider the impact on truckers, suppliers and the money employees would have spent in the community, said Dr. Jeffrey Michael, the director of the Center of Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific.

Michael said the silver lining is, the layoffs came with considerate notice to the city and the employees, and the economy is better equipped to absorb them now than years ago.

“The city is working on a committee with General Mills and a real estate search firm to find the next big company that wants to take over,” Chandler said.

Some ideas that have been floated include a food processing company, a winery and a high-tech campus.

Pat Patrick, the president of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, emphasized a selling point for the city.

“We have our own electric utility, which to some businesses, is very important — a reliable, continuous, constant flow of electricity,” he said. “Sure, it is a huge blow to the local economy, but it’s not something that will cripple Lodi. And it’s not something that we can’t come back from.”

Lodi residents hope a company will take over the General Mills site soon.

“(Lodi) will recover if somebody picks up the plant, but that’s a significant investment and that kind of investment doesn’t happen overnight,” resident Tom Sayles said.

Becky Henrickson, another Lodi resident, added, “I’m hoping it can rebound. I’m hoping somebody will come to Lodi and reopen that place and bring those people back.”


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