ConAgra Foods plans to close its Slim Jim plant in Garner in 15 to 18 months, throwing hundreds of employees out of work and dealing another blow to the region's economy.
The plant was damaged last summer in an explosion that killed four workers and injured dozens more. Since then, ConAgra has been considering whether to pump more money into the plant or move production of the meat snacks.
But the company told workers today that it will shift production to Troy, Ohio in late 2011.
The company plans to take several steps "to help ease the economic loss in the Garner community," it wrote in a prepared statement.
That includes donating the factory and 106 acres on which it sits to spur regional economic development and donating $3 million for a community center in Garner. ConAgra also will help market the facility to prospective manufacturers. And ConAgra will establish a scholarship fund for Garner employees and their children.