ConAgra Closing Damaged NC Plant

ConAgra says it is going to shut its Slim Jim manufacturing plant in Garner, NC within 15 to 18 months. The company says it will cost too much to rebuild the portion of plant damaged in last June’s explosion; compared to what it costs to make Slim Jims in Troy, Ohio.

“Our facility in Troy is larger, more modern and is more conducive to the expansion we need for this product line,” said ConAgra’s Greg Smith.

Before the plant closes, the company says it will do what it can to help it’s 400 or so employees find work at other ConAgra facilities or elsewhere. In addition, it will give the town $3-million to help build a community center, and donate both its manufacturing plant and land to the town so that it may use it to attract a new business.  “When they leave, what we will have is an excellent shell facility that can be easily adapted for other businesses,” said Garner Economic Development Director Tony Beasley.

Officials say not only will the facility be tenant ready; but it will offer other advantages to a potential employer. “The facility has a pre-treatment plant on-site that will be a part of the facility when ConAgra vacates,” said Ken Atkins, who is the Executive Director of Economic Development for Wake County. “That’s very attractive to companies that use those processes such as biotechnology or pharmaceutical or a foods related company,’’ claims Atkins.