Hillshire Brands employees move forward with job fair

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Hillshire Brands continues to find jobs for its current and former employees. In April, the company announced it will close at the end of the year. But before it closes, it wants to make sure its employees have plenty of new opportunities.

Cars packed the Florence Lauderdale coliseum Tuesday afternoon. Thousands of employees came out to the second job fair for Hillshire employees.

Joshua Bates has worked for Hillshire Brands for nine years. His desire is to find a job similar to the one he's about to lose.

"Hopefully, find a better paying job or close to what I was making. Just to find something better," said Bates.

Bates isn't the only one looking. The shutdown will leave more than a thousand people unemployed. That's why Shoals leaders say they didn't waste any time putting together two job fairs for employees. With more than 60 companies represented at both fairs, it's a step many hope will help them move forward.

"If I'd have a crystal ball I wouldn't be so leery about it. You know in this economy, right here, you take find of what comes your way. What it boils down to is paying your bills and putting food on the table," said employee Tommy Saddler.

Company leaders say the plant will close at the end of the year. Employees say the production lines could be shutting down as early as October.