Hillshire Employees Seek Jobs After Layoff

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – In April, more than a 1,000 Hillshire Brand employees in Florence were notified the plant would be shutting down by the end of 2014.

As you can imagine that announcement came as an overwhelming surprise to everyone in the Shoals.

Hundreds of soon to be laid-off employees from Hillshire in Florence have started the process of seeking new employment.

On Tuesday, cars filled the parking lot of the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum.

Jamitra Murphy is one of the employees being laid-off and attended the fair Tuesday morning. She said her particular job at Hillshire ends on June 6th.

She’s hopeful one of the companies being represented at the job fair will have something for her.

“I’ve went a printed out six resumes hoping that there will be something in there that I can find,” stated Murphy. “And I’m just looking forward to finding a job and getting to work again.”

And the chance to go back to work seems to be brighter than some first thought.

Shoals Economic Development leaders said of the 60 companies at the job fair have 800 jobs available now or will be in the near future.

“I guess good news is relative,” explained Forrest Wright with the Shoals Economic Development Authority. “If you are one of the individuals that has received a lay-off notice and you go down there and you have this opportunity to start a new career, that’s good news.”

It’s some encouraging news at a bleak time for the 1,100 Hillshire employees seeking jobs over the coming months.

The job fair continues on Wednesday from 10am until 6pm at the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum and is only open to current Hillshire Brand employees.

The fair is being sponsored by the Shoals Economic Development Authority, The Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Florence.