The J.R. Simplot Co. will close its Nampa plant in April and lay off 189 hourly workers and up to 17 salaried employees, the company has told Nampa officials.
The closure is part of the Boise agribusiness company's plan announced in 2011 to close potato-processing plants in Nampa, Caldwell and Aberdeen (in southeast Idaho) and consolidate processing at a new plant being built in Caldwell.
The Nampa plant, at 3704 N. Middleton Road, will close April 18, give or take 13 days, according to a letter to Mayor Bob Henry from Gene Gallegos, the plant's unit director. The letter is a formal notice Simplot provided under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
Its never good news when an employer announces that it will close, Henry said Monday. "Fortunately, the Idaho Department of Labor has held several meetings to help the displaced workers. It is our hope that with the early notice that Simplot gave, the employees will be able to find other meaningful employment by the closure date.
More meetings are scheduled for the weeks of March 3, March 17 and March 31. The meetings will be held at the Nampa plant in the training room.