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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Bond, Blunt set roundtable

  • A business and industry roundtable led by U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt and U.S. Sen. Christopher Bond will be held with several representatives of Neosho-based businesses and industries from 3-4 p.m. Saturday at the Hale McGinty Business Development Center.


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  • A business and industry roundtable led by U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt and U.S. Sen. Christopher Bond will be held with several representatives of Neosho-based businesses and industries from 3-4 p.m. Saturday at the Hale McGinty Business Development Center.
    The announcement of this meeting comes in the wake of Twin Rivers’ announcement on Tuesday that it will be reducing its workforce by approximately 400 workers effective April 9.
    Matt Duffy, president and CEO of Twin Rivers, cited unfavorable economic conditions and the rising cost of business as main factors for the work slow down in a prepared statement.
    As reported in the Tuesday edition of the Daily News, the Twin Rivers facility in Neosho will remain open with processing at a much-reduced level.
    Gib Garrow, director of economic development for the city of Neosho, said on Wednesday afternoon that Twin Rivers officials were already in the process of searching for more orders to be filled at the Neosho plant.
    “I think we will have a good feel for the severity of the impact of this announcement in about six weeks, and then we will engage the workforce and learn if that number will be 400, or will it be 300, 200 or less,” Garrow said. “What the Missouri Division of Workforce Development makes industries do is give them a worst-case scenario, and that is what the 400-plus workers is, a worst-case scenario.
    “Twin Rivers is a very well managed company, and they are small. Their CEO (Matt Duffy) and their COO (John Ball) are good people, and they are going to be on the road and working this, too. The other things we will have to look at is that the workforce in food is a little bit different than say the folks who were displaced at Brass Eagle, who are more in the manufacturing sector.”
    This winter, Neosho has seen three major industries cut back their workforce. Brass Eagle announced the layoff of approximately 60 employees after the announcement its Neosho facility would be closing this month, and Premier Turbines announced it would be restructuring its workforce in 2010.
    Garrow said while there has been grim news in Neosho recently, there is also positive news to report.
    “Trouw added a second shift earlier this year,” Garrow said. “Missouri Sugar is up to production at seven days a week, 24 hours a day. La-Z-Boy is doing a nice job of increasing staff and increasing orders. If you look at what is happening with La-Z-Boy’s stock, it just tells you that they are selling more chairs.”
    Garrow said the final number of workers displaced by the changes at Twin Rivers, and how far they will have to travel to find work, will ultimately affect the economics in Neosho.
    “It will mainly depend on how far they will have to travel to get a job,” Garrow said. “The key is to look at, monitor it after four or five weeks and see where that number is. (Twin Rivers) is hoping they can retain some of that employment, and I don’t think he would make that statement without being somewhat confident. He is not going to give those employees hope that is not there. Our process will be to stay with them until we see the need to open it up and have a job fair, than we will do a job fair.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Our hope is that we do have a diversified manufacturing base, and yes, this hit (Twin Rivers) is beyond that of Brass Eagle’s. But, (Twin Rivers’) words gives you encouragement, and I have to follow their lead and we hope that they are able to backfill their product and replace the product to keep those employees. And we will know more about that in four or five weeks.”
     

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