Clark County officials are working with about 50 local Bob Evans employees who are trying to find new jobs as the company’s Jefferson Street facility prepares to close.
The company announced the closure of the 38,000 square-foot facility about a year ago, said Amy Donahoe, director of hiring and employer services for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. A specific date has not yet been set, but the facility at 2110 W. Jefferson Street is expected to close by mid January. Local officials have known the plant was closing, but now have a better timeline, Donahoe said.
The chamber has been working with the company, employees and other area firms to find new positions for those who will lose their jobs, Donahoe said. That includes reviewing their skills and education levels to match them with other jobs that might be available locally.
Bob Evans announced last year the production facility would close as part of a strategy to consolidate the company’s business for long-term growth, said Margaret Standing, a spokeswoman for Bob Evans. She said the company is also looking at other sites to determine if some of those workers can be relocated. The facility is used to make sausage, soups and gravy.
Bob Evans had previously sold the production building to New Mill Capital, a California-based private equity firm. Greg Schain, executive vice president of New Mill Capital, said his hope is to eventually find a new food producing business to fill the vacant space.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that some food user will come into the building,” Schain said.
Along with the Jefferson Street site, Bob Evans also owns a $3.5 million transportation center at the Airpark Ohio industrial park. Bob Evans had also sold a separate distribution facility at Airpark Ohio to Millard Refrigerated Services.