Twenty-five jobs are lost at Stratas
More than three-quarters of Stratas Foods' workers will lose their jobs when the company changes its facility on Pickett District Road in New Milford from a food-oil production site to a distribution center within the next year.
The New Milford plant will become the northeast distribution center for the company.
The change will mean a loss of jobs for approximately 25 workers, said Deborah Murdock, Stratas' vice president of human resources. The facility now employs 32 workers.
"This decision has been made solely on business and customer needs and is not a reflection on the performance of the employees and management team that have been running the facility," John Fierott, senior vice president of operations for Stratas Foods, said in a prepared statement.
The change is designed to improve production by relocating manufacturing facilities, he added.
"Obviously we have a severance package for these workers, and we will be working with the state and pursuing outplacement for these folks," Ms. Murdock said. "Our intent is to absorb as many of these workers as possible back into the production side of the company."
New Milford's economic development supervisor, Vin Nolan, said Stratas gave Mayor Pat Murphy a courtesy call to inform her of the facility change but, as of Tuesday, he had not been able to reach anyone with Stratas.
"I intend to be in touch with them soon," Mr. Nolan said.
Stratas has operated the facility at 87 Pickett District Road since 2009. The 73,600-square-foot facility, just south of the intersection with Dodd Road, was a production facility of Stratas' parent company, ACH Food Companies Inc., since the mid-1990s.
Stratas Foods is a joint venture between ACH and Archer Daniel Midland Co. Formed in 2008, Stratas Foods produces and supplies oils and shortening to the food service industry.
It is based in Memphis, Tenn., with production facilities throughout North America. It distributes in Canada and the U.S.
Ms. Murdock said the company plans to have an extended presence in New Milford.