Shearer’s Foods lays off all employees following explosion in Hermiston

HERMISTON, Ore. — Shearer’s Foods has laid off all of the employees at the Hermiston location following the massive boiler explosion in February, according to a news release.

A spokesperson for the company said around 230 workers are now searching for jobs.

“After assessing the damage, it’s clear that the destruction is too great to quickly rebuild and begin production in the near term. Unfortunately, it would take at least 15-18 months before we could resume production. We have not yet decided the future of the Shearer’s Hermiston site. This has led to the very difficult decision to end employment for our team members,” a statement from CEO Bill Nictakis said.

ORIGINAL STORY: Explosion at Hermiston food plant injured at least 6 people, generates massive plume of smoke & closes roads

Shearer’s Foods is working with those employees to figure out potential relocations to other sites and is providing “a severance and benefits continuation package to recognize the effort and tenure that has gone into making the site successful over the past years.”

They are also working with organizations in Hermiston to set up career fairs and other similar activities.

“I think that a lot of these people, these folks are in shock, perhaps they don’t know where to turn,” said Val Hoxie, the executive director for the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce.

One of the career fairs will be held on March 16 at the Hermiston Community Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend.

“We wanted to have a job fair whenever the time was right. We were waiting for Shearer’s to be able to get their feet under them. We didn’t want to come in right after the fire. We wanted to allow people to have a little time
to absorb what had happened,” Hoxie said. “Then they said that they made the decision to go ahead and release all the employees, so at that point, they gave us the green light to go ahead with the job fair.”

Hoxie added that she believes the fair makes it “easier” for people to find jobs as there’s “a lot of resources in one room.”

“As we all know, there are a lot of businesses that are hiring right now and I think that this gives them some options to see what’s out there and what suits their skill set,” Hoxie said.

Currently, about 50 businesses are planning to attend and perform on-site interviews.

“We really encourage anybody looking for work to show up,” Hoxie said.

To read the Shearer’s Foods full statement, click here.

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