3 Companies Say They’ll Lay Off 343 Workers from Orange County Factories!

In a blow to the local economy, three prominent companies in Orange County have announced 343 layoffs at their respective plants. Frito-Lay’s PopCorners chip factory in Middletown is set to bear the brunt, with 88 workers receiving layoff notices, accounting for nearly one-third of the factory’s staff.

Genpak, a food container manufacturer, informed all 138 of its workers about the impending layoffs, citing bans on polystyrene food packaging by some states as the reason behind the shutdown. Similarly, party supply maker Amscan disclosed the layoffs of all 138 employees at its Newburgh location.

The layoffs are slated to commence in August, leaving many business owners in the area concerned about the potential impact on their establishments. Italo Rebino, manager of Brother Bruno’s Pizza adjacent to Genpak, expressed apprehension, noting the frequent patronage of laid-off workers at his establishment.

3 Companies Say They'll Lay Off 343 Workers from Orange County Factories

However, there is a glimmer of hope for the affected workers, as Orange County Employment and Training Director Steve Knob assures that his office is well-equipped to assist them. Knob highlighted the numerous job openings available for workers with similar skill sets, as evidenced by the recent job fair in the county.

Meanwhile, Frito-Lay attributed the layoffs at its PopCorners plant to construction projects scheduled to begin in September 2024 on its Middletown property. The company anticipates a temporary shutdown during the construction phase, leading to a reduced workforce upon reopening. Frito-Lay has committed to offering affected employees options to transfer to other plants, including one in Liberty, along with severance packages for those unable to relocate.

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The economic rationale behind the layoffs was cited by Frito-Lay in its notification to the New York State Department of Labor. Despite the challenging circumstances, efforts are underway to mitigate the impact on the affected workers and the local community.

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