The food plant where Alton Nolen brutally murdered a coworker in 2014 just announced it will permanently close Dec. 1, 2017.
Fresh Creative Foods, formerly Vaughan Foods, will lay-off all 367 local employees, but the City of Moore hopes to quickly help find all of them find new jobs.
Moore economic development director Deidre Ebrey says, “While there’s never a great time for this, we have a lot of opportunities right now that are becoming available for job creation.”
As Fresh Creative Foods consolidates small plants like the one in Moore into a new, larger facility closer to its Midwest distribution center, other production and manufacturing companies are expanding right here in central Oklahoma. Ebrey says, “Really production of any kind, those skills can transfer and translate over.”
The city and state are already working to identify job opportunities before the local Fresh Creative facility closes up shop on Dec. 1. They encourage the employees to come to local workforce centers for help brushing up resumes, identifying transferrable skills and connecting with potential employers. The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce reports there were 9,300 job openings posted by companies in Cleveland County between July 2017 to August 2017.
A Fresh Creative representative tells News 9 this closure was a “difficult decision”, but the company is supporting the employees and “their transition - whether it is continued employment at one of our other facilities, training assistance, or other job placement aid”.
“I’m really hopeful that within a 10-15 minute drive time, these folks are going to find employment,” says Ebrey, “and it may actually turn out that they find better jobs.”
There are two job fairs coming up in the next two weeks in the surrounding area. The first will be at the Norman Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second is a larger, state-hosted event for central Oklahoma, which will be at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center on Friday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To learn more about the job fair in Norman, click here.
To learn more about the job fair in Bricktown and other state-sponsored events, click here.