Plant Closing To Leave 476 Without A Job

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2011

Terry Bralley didn’t see it coming.
Townsends’ chicken processing facility on Eaton Road in Mocksville was purchased from bankruptcy in February by Omtron USA. Some 200 workers had been hired in the last 90 days, bringing the total workforce to 476, one of the county’s largest employers. It had invested $20 million in additional equipment and upgrades
Bralley, Davie County’s economic development director, has been courting a new employer for months. Things were looking up. “The phones are ringing,” he likes to say about businesses considering locating here.
But the news of losing 476 jobs by Oct. 4 hurts a small community with a consistent jobless rate  over nine percent.
The news came quickly, starting from Siler City last Thursday when officials learned a poultry complex operated by Townsends there might be closing. On Friday morning, employees at the Mocksville plant received the news that their jobs would be eliminated by Oct. 4.
Bralley said the closing appears to have caught local Townsend employees at all levels by surprise.
A WARN Act notice was given to local officials and employees on Friday morning …