ConAgra to transition Slim Jim production to Ohio

by Eric Schroeder
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OMAHA — ConAgra Foods, Inc. said it will close its Garner, N.C., facility in late 2011 and transition production of the plant’s Slim Jim lines to the company’s facility in Troy, Ohio. A major portion of the Garner facility was destroyed in a June 9, 2009, explosion.

ConAgra said it will continue to operate in Garner for the next 15 to 18 months while it adds 74,000 square feet and four production lines at its Troy plant, which is set to become the company’s primary Slim Jim meat snack maker. The Troy facility has been making Slim Jims since last year.

To help ease the economic loss in the Garner community following its departure, ConAgra said it will donate $3 million to help fund a planned community center and will market the existing manufacturing site to prospective companies. ConAgra also plans to donate the entire Garner facility and the 106 acres on which it is located to generate regional economic development and job creation. In addition, the company is establishing a scholarship fund for Garner employees and their children to provide continuing education opportunities.

“We truly value the commitment that our Garner employees and the entire Garner community have shown over the past several months,” said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, but a decision that allows us to leverage economies of scale in Troy, which is necessary for the good of our business over the long term.”
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