Hillshire Announces Shutdown of Florence Plant; 1,100 Jobs Lost

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – One of Florence’s largest employers has announced it will shut down operations by the end of 2014.

In a news release, The Hillshire Brands Company announced it will discontinue all production at its Florence facility located on South Wood Avenue.  The plant employs 1,100 people.

According to a company spokesperson, the decision was made after a comprehensive business evaluation; Hillshire determined production from the Florence facility will be sourced from other locations within the Hillshire Brands network of operations.

Hillshire leaders said they produce breakfast sandwich and breakfast sausage in the Florence facility.

“Closing our Florence facility was a very difficult decision to make,” said Tom Hayes, chief supply chain officer for The Hillshire Brands Company. “For many years, these employees dedicated themselves to running a quality operation, which they have done exceptionally well. Unfortunately, after looking at our business, we determined that this facility will not allow us to meet our efficiency or long-term profitability expectations.”

A company spokesperson said they will provide severance and outplacement assistance to employees consistent with its policies.

Hillshire said they will also coordinate efforts with state and local training and employment agencies to help facilitate and ease the transition for affected employees.