Factory Laying Off 90 Employees

SOUTH CENTRE TOWNSHIP -- Big Heart Pet Brands makes dog food at this plant near Bloomsburg.

According to its parent company Smucker's, the company stopped making two kinds of wet dog food, Skippy and Gravy Train.

Less dog food means fewer employees. Smucker's announced plans to lay off 90 workers from this factory.

"We have a couple of friends who work there and have been there for I know it's been at least 20 years and we don't know if they're going to get laid off," Kathy Sherrick said.

"It's very sad those employees are going to be terminated for the simple fact that they've been there a long time," David Sherrick said.

According to Smucker's, some jobs will be eliminated by not filling open positions. In other cases, employees will be offered buyouts.

Big Heart Pet Brands is one of Columbia County's largest employers. With around 560 employees, the layoffs account for about 15% of its work force.

"We get morning, afternoon and night. Steady business from them all day long," Bonnie Letkowski said.

"Your Choice" convenience store is across the street from the factory. Employees are disappointed by the layoffs.

"They're all our loyal customers. They know us all by name, we know them all by name," Sara Berlin said.

Big Heart Pet Brands employees also frequent nearby "Scoreboard Sports Tavern".

"Good lunch crowd from them. After work sometimes some guys come in," Eric Benscoter said.

Owner Eric Benscoter calls the layoffs a ripple effect.

"Anytime you get a large business like that in the community lay people off like that, it affects more than just them. It affects all the little guys down the line, too," Benscoter said.

According to Smucker's, the layoffs at Big Heart Pet Brands will happen between now and January.

15 comments

  • Tom

    I wonder if our illustrious fraud of a president will own this layoff as quickly as he owns when a plant hires some workers. I won’t hold my breath.

  • Huggy

    Hey, schuylkill county is loaded with distribution center jobs. Well, not really cause they hire out people from out of state, get tax breaks, and pay CHEAP wages. Thanks SEDCO!

    • BARRIOS

      More like none of the construction is done by locals when they build a new distribution center. illegals and non union folk from Alabama and Tennessee dot the construction sites!!! And illegals and temps make up half of the workforce when it goes up and running!

  • Bob Smith

    I hate to hear that! Not fair to everybody. I’ve lived in Texas and there is no such product as Big Heart Pet Brands there.

  • GivememyNickelback

    Jobs, jobs, jobs are just flooding the area!!! The coal mines need to start opening up a lot faster and work needs to start on THE WALL already. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. I’m not tired of winning yet.

    • BARRIOS

      great culture in Schuylkill county. Unfriendly people, Cheap blighted row homes, over-exaggerated high school sports, corrupt government leaders. infrastructure stuck in the 70s, high taxes for garbage services. I am sure educated people really wanna live and work lifting boxes at lowes. Even people preforming non skilled jobs dont wanna relocate to the skook.

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