Bow feed plant loses production line and 18 jobs
The company that owns Blue Seal Inc. in Bow is laying off more than half of the feed plant’s staff as it relocates one of its production lines to Vermont.
Eighteen of the feed plant’s 27 employees have received layoff notices. Some have already left while others will depart in the next few weeks, said Janet Sichterman, a spokeswoman for Kent Corporation, the parent company based in Iowa.
Sichterman said the plant, located along Route 3A, will no longer produce bagged feed but will continue to operate its bulk feed line and retail shop. She said the company is moving the line to improve efficiency in its supply chain.
Sichterman noted that the affected staff was given advance notice about the move and offered the chance to relocate with the line to the company’s plant in Richford, Vt.
“It’s quite unfortunate,” she added. “Displaced folks are certainly not something we want to see, but we are also trying to serve our customers in as cost efficient a way as possible.”
Sichterman said the company also gave employees some financial assistance to help while transitioning to a new job; she wouldn’t specify what the amount was.
The state has also stepped in to aid with the transition. Michael Power, the workforce community development administrator at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, said staff members met with a team of unemployment specialists last Friday at the plant, and will receive continued help as they begin to search for new jobs.
“It’s a jolting thing,”
Power said, referring to relocation-related layoffs. “You may have someone who has
been employed for 15, 16 years and doesn’t have an updated resume or really know what’s out there in terms of other jobs.”
Power said the employees have received information about state-funded assistance such as food stamps, children’s insurance and vocational rehabilitation. He said they also have access to a new program called WorkReadyNH, which provides free workplace training and remedial instruction in math and reading.
The Blue Seal plant has been in operation since at least 1941 and was taken over by Kent in the late 1980s, Sichterman said.
Town manager David Stack described the relocation and layoffs as unfortunate.
“Any of our businesses, we like to see them stay here and thrive,” he said. “Any time a position is eliminated, it’s a concern.”
(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319,
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)