Shearer's Foods announces fate of Hermiston potato chip plant devastated by fire




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-25 18:26:08Z
  • By Tri-City Herald

Shearer's Foods has made a decision about the fate of its Hermiston, Ore. plant, which was devastated by a fire earlier this year.

The company, which produces branded potato and corn chips for national chains, has decided not to rebuild the Hermiston plant, according to an email from the company.

The plant was all but destroyed after a boiler exploded in February.

Employees, who were laid off in March, were notified this week of the decision, according to the company. At the time Shearer's estimated earlier this year that it would take 15 to 18 months rebuild the plant, which is about an hour south of the Tri-Cities.

The Shearer’s Foods plant south of Hermiston smoldered for days after a devastating fire in February.
The Shearer’s Foods plant south of Hermiston smoldered for days after a devastating fire in February.  

"It was a difficult decision not to rebuild in Hermiston because of our dedicated employees and all the support we've received from the community over the years," said Shearer's CEO Bill Nictakis. "As Shearer's continues to grow, we have decided that it is in the company's best interest to focus our resources on maximizing production at our other facilities."

The company said in March that its 230 employees were given a severance package, based on tenure and unused vacation, and has worked with community organizations to help them find employment in the meantime.

They are also encouraging employees willing to relocate to apply at other locations.

The Hermiston plant, which opened in 2010, was the company's only production facility in the Pacific Northwest.

The Ohio-based company's other locations are in Ohio, Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada, according to the Shearer's Foods website.

The remains of Shearer’s Foods, Hermiston, lay twisted and smoldering Feb.
The remains of Shearer’s Foods, Hermiston, lay twisted and smoldering Feb.  
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