3 companies announce combined 343 layoffs at Orange County plants

Frito-Lay Inc. has notified its employees and the state Department of Labor that it will lay off close to one-third of its workforce at its Industrial Place facility.

Ben Nandy

Jun 3, 2024, 4:15 PM

Updated 12 days ago


State and local agencies plan on helping a combined 343 workers at three Orange County manufacturing plants who will be laid off this summer.
Eighty-eight workers at Frito-Lay's PopCorners chip factory in Middletown – nearly one-third of the staff – are the most recent group to receive layoff notices.
Food container manufacturer Genpak informed all 138 of its workers in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN). The company blamed the shutdown on bans by some states against polystyrene food packaging.
Party supply maker Amscan also announced the layoffs of all 138 employees at its Newburgh location.
All three companies said layoffs will begin in August.
Some business owners told News 12 they expect the upcoming layoffs to significantly affect them.
"They come here real quick when they're on break," Italo Rebino, manager of Brother Bruno's Pizza in the plaza next to Genpak. "You know, everybody's always going to want pizza, but…we'll see how things turn out."
Orange County Employment and Training Director Steve Knob is confident his office can help the affected workers. Knob said at a the county's most recent job fair, there were numerous employers clearly in need of workers with similar skills.
"Hundreds of openings out of those 104 employers, so there definitely is opportunity for these folks who are eventually going to be laid off," he said.
A member of Frito-Lay's media services team told News 12 in an email that the PopCorners plant layoffs are happening because of construction projects on its Middletown property.
“Frito-Lay recently notified employees at its Middletown facility that construction scheduled to begin in September 2024 will result in a temporary shutdown," the media services representative wrote. "When the facility reopens, it is anticipated fewer employees will be needed for the operation of the facility.
Frito-Lay told the New York state Department of Labor in its WARN form that the reason for the layoffs is "economic." The company said it will offer affected employees options to transfer to other Frito-Lay plants, including one in Liberty.
Frito-Lay will offer severance packages to workers who cannot transfer, the media services rep said.

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