Luverne community comes together after Pilgrim's announcement to close facility

By  | 

LUVERNE, S.D. (KSFY) - The Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plant in Luverne is closing its doors at the end of year – leaving 200 workers without a job.

The unexpected announcement is sending shockwaves through the community.

Luverne city administrator John Call says the entire community is rallying around these employees that were affected.

“It's definitely a blow to the community; the biggest thing is the job loss,” said Call.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation plans to close the facility December 29. While devastating for the 200 employees, Call is confident these hard workers will get back on their feet.

“The economy overall is pretty good now. It's nice that Smithfield is going to have a job fair here. It's nice that Golden Plump, and actually Pilgrim’s Pride parent company, has a relocation package for the people,” said Call.

“Well I bought the store in 1979 so I’ve been here for 38 years,” said Bark Bork, owner of The Sewing Basket in Luverne.

As a longtime Luverne business owner, Bork has seen the town’s economy change through the years.

“Through the 80's, it was bad through town. And then we had sort of a bad spell a few years ago but our town is really perking up right now,” said Bork.

She expects the community to help pick up the pieces and keep Luverne the thriving town it is becoming.

“Our town works together and as the way Main St. looks right now, we're all working together and improving the whole look of the town and coming together. This is just a blow but it’ll be okay,” said Bork.

“I just don't see a lot of people moving out of the area because of this,” said Call.

Both Call and Bork agree, the people of Luverne are resilient and will get through this.

The corporation said it’s closing the facility to shift production and equipment to more efficient operations.