Federal Funding Assists in Plant Shutdowns
Its not sensational national news when a plant is shutdown in the small town of Wisconsin Rapids (pop. 18,435) Wisconsin. The future termination of over 130 employees and impending shutdown of the Schreiber Foods facility is just another dot on the map of nondescript towns experiencing the identical adverse economic impact
Schreiber Foods,with sixteen facilities in the U.S. and over 5,000 employees, is a global leader in cheese production and the largest privately held cheese company trailing behind Kraft Foods (publicly held). Next time you order a cheese-burger at your favorite fast food joint, you can pretty much bet that the cheese slice adorning the top of the burger is a Schreiber slice.
It's understandable if transportation costs create a taxing burden on a corporation’s bottom line and seek cost effective solutions. In this instance, the solution was the layoff of loyal employees to recoup costs.
Transportation entered into the equation for Schreiber Food back in 2005 but in a more positive note that was beneficial to the company. In Missouri, the Show-Me State, the Missouri Department of Economic Development approved a $500,000 grant through a Block Grant program for highway improvements that enticed Schreiber Foods in building new distribution center in Carthage, MO.
The state grant was not quite enough to make the Missouri deal go through so federal funding in addition to funding from Missouri Department of Transportation and the city of Carthage was added to the war chest. An ironic aspect of the current situation is the transfer of production in Wisconsin Falls, WI. to the company's new facility in Carthage, Mo. Like a huge shell game, the participants being the workers, never will know the outcome of the next move.