An employee of Twin Rivers Foods’ Neosho facility confirmed that employees were sent home with a letter Friday announcing that the company plans to close the facility June 1.

An employee of Twin Rivers Foods’ Neosho facility confirmed that employees were sent home with a letter Friday announcing that the company plans to close the facility June 1.
The 60-day notice didn’t mention a reason, according to an employee who wished to remain anonymous. The two-plus-year employee, however, heard that financial reasons may be behind the planned closure and that he heard low sales may be the reason. The Neosho facility employs about 300 people.
Headquartered in Fayetteville, Ark., the company has about 1,000 employees, with about 300 at each of two other plants in Arkansas. The three plants process a combined 1 million-plus pieces of chicken a week, according to Doug Quillen, corporate human resources director. At Neosho, that includes breast tenders, wings, strips and nuggets that can be marinated in a variety of flavors or floured prior to being individually frozen.
Co-owners Maynard Anderson, Matt Duffy and Doug Tyler didn’t respond to an email request for comment. Duffy also didn’t return a voice mail left Tuesday afternoon.
Twin Rivers Foods in Neosho is like many other manufacturers with lower-paying production jobs that typically have high turnover. It’s unknown whether any employees will be able to relocate to another Twin Rivers facility.
The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Employer Appreciation Committee chose Twin Rivers Foods, led by Plant Manager Mike Mitchell, as business of the month in March.
Tyler, Anderson and Duffy opened the Neosho plant in September 2000 after a Tyson facility closed the previous December. Instead of a plant staying idle for a long period of time, Twin Rivers was able to bring back jobs to the city, as many as 750 at one time when performing front-half deboning for Tyson. Processes in place for about the past five years require fewer employees, Quillen said last month when interviewed for the chamber honor.
The 102,000-square-foot facility usually is hiring and is entering the busy time of the year for chicken processing that was to continue into the fall, Judy Rickman, support manager, said last month.
A similar scenario six years ago didn’t materialize when the company announced plans to close in 2010. About 400 workers were to lose their jobs that April. Company officials said at the time that the economy and the rising cost of doing business were to blame for the downsizing.
The original date for a possible reduction in operations and workforce was to take place April 9 that year. In late March, the company announced an extension until May 7.
John Ball, chief operating officer, reported that the plant would not institute a reduction in operations that May as previously announced. Ball said at the time that the company had acquired enough business through new ventures to keep its current workforce at 430 employees through at least the end of September.

The Neosho facility has remained open since then.