CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) - A Caldwell Simplot plant will close at the end of the year, leaving 262 people unemployed. Two others in Nampa and Aberdeen will also close, laying off 600-800 employees total.
"Technology has really made it so the production of each worker can be really magnified, so Simplot's just making use of that," said Andrew Townsend of the Idaho Department of Labor.
A new plant in Caldwell will be built where the old one stands now and all three working plants will be shut down. Townsend said that he believes Simplot will hire some of the laid off workers for the new facility, but it will only employ 250 employees. He said the company will also be hiring from outside of the company.
"I know that the new plant that's coming in uses a lot more technology, so there's probably going to be a skills gap between some of the line workers in the new jobs," said Townsend.
The new Caldwell plant already has several production lines open for testing. The Deparment of Labor expects it to be fully open early next year.
On December 16, the Department of Labor plans to have a job fair for the laid off workers.