More than a dozen companies are expected to offer interviews and jobs this month exclusively to local ConAgra employees who will lose their jobs in April and May.
About 520 remaining ConAgra employees are slated to lose their jobs in what will be one of the region's biggest mass layoffs when the snack food maker's Garner facility closes in late May.
To help the affected workers find other opportunities, ConAgra and the Capital Area Workforce Development Board have scheduled an employment fair for March 30, about two months before ConAgra shuts down the local facility that produced Slim Jim snacks.
The thriving Garner facility was never able to recover from an explosion in 2009 that killed four people.
ConAgra officials expect at least 15 companies to set up booths at the job fair, which will last from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. If more companies express interest in attending, ConAgra will expand the job fair into a second day.
The facility currently employs machine operators, warehouse workers, packers, smokehouse operators, among others. ConAgra plans to lay off 234 by April 16 and the rest the following month.
Slim Jim production is being transferred to a ConAgra plant in Ohio.
ConAgra is donating the Garner facility and 106 acres near Interstate 40 to the town. Garner officials have created a nonprofit, the Garner Economic Development Corp., that will own the site and find new uses for it.
Companies interested in setting up a booth should contact Tenisha Barnes at 919-772-1511 ext. 440 or Tenisha.Barnes@conagrafoods.com.