By Wally Kennedy
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A layoff information meeting Tuesday for 121 employees of Mars Petcare, which last week announced it was shutting down its plant in Joplin, will be followed by a job fair at Franklin Technology Center.
The meeting will be held with the workers at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, 320 E. Fourth St.
Leslie Abram, coordinator of the Rapid Response team for the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri, said more than a dozen local and area employers will participate in the job fair.
“It’s exciting to see so many employers step forward to help the workers at Mars Petcare,’’ Abram said. “I feel confident that we’ll be able to help all of the employees transition to a new job or training program in a short amount of time.’’
Among the companies participating in the job fair are General Dynamics OTS-Munition Services, Heartland Pet Foods, TAMKO Building Products, H.E. Williams Inc., La-Z-Boy Midwest, Modine Manufacturing Co., Bemis, Natural Life Pet Products, Protein Solutions LLC, Hampshire Pet Products, Manpower, C.J. Foods Inc., Able Manufacturing and Leggett & Platt.
“Mars Petcare is making it possible for all 121 people to attend the fair,’’ she said.
The employers have more than 300 job openings.
An employer can register for the job fair by the end of the day on Monday, space permitting.
Mars Petcare is closing its pet food plants in Joplin and Pueblo, Colo., in response to excess production capacity and reduced demand for pet food in the central and western regions of the country.
The company’s plant in Joplin, 1983 S. State Line Ave., has shut down its dry pet food line. The plant’s dog biscuit line will continue operating for a few more months. Plans call for the entire plant to cease production in September. The actual closing date will be Nov. 1.