Just days after village of Montgomery officials learned that the village would gain up to 350 new jobs at a local plant, another local plant announced that it was cutting 250 jobs.
Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel said Tuesday that officials at the VVF plant at 2000 Aucutt Road on the village’s west side have confirmed they plan to eliminate about 250 of the 310 jobs at the plant by September.
“They are closing out the manufacture of their line of bar soaps here and it will affect those 250 employees,” he said.
VVF plans to continue to manufacture its current antiperspirant and deodorant lines at the local plant, which will preserve approximately 60 jobs, according to Zoephel.
He said the firm’s decision to halt the manufacturer of bar soaps at the plant is due to changing trends in soap sales.
“The sale of bar soaps nationally is on the decline and the process that they use here to make it is old. They have another plant in Cincinnati [Ohio] that has a newer process and equipment so they are shifting their operations there,” he said.
Zoephel said VVF officials noted that their decision to halt production at the local plant has nothing to do with the local business climate or the quality of the local workforce.
“Had they been having any issues, we certainly would have reached out to them,” he said, referring to VVF.
Zoephel said his first thought was with the VVF employees when he learned Friday that VVF would be cutting their jobs.
“They are the people losing their jobs. They live in our community and they are raising their families here. We want to do what we can to help them,” he said.
Village officials learned of the VVF job cuts just five days after Carl Buddig & Co. announced its plans to locate in the former Butterball plant at 2125 Rochester Drive, also on the village’s west side. Butterball moved its operations out of the plant last July, resulting in the loss of 600 jobs.
Buddig plans to employ 250 workers within two years of moving into the plant with the expectation that an additional 100 jobs will be added by 2023.