State to host job fair for laid off Cargill workers

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will host a job fair Aug. 14 for workers recently laid off from Cargill’s Menomonee Valley beef harvesting facility.


About 588 workers were impacted by the closure of the Milwaukee plant, which Cargill announced July 30. The layoffs took effect Aug. 1, and workers will continue to receive wages and benefits through Sept. 28 in cooperation with state law regarding business closing or mass layoff.

Cargill held a company job fair last week, where it offered 800 open positions at its 23 Midwest locations to laid off employees. About 320 of the impacted workers expressed interest in the open positions, particularly at the Butler ground beef plant, Cargill said.

“We moved quickly to assist the affected workers and their families,” said Reggie Newson, DWD secretary. “We are pleased that Cargill has agreed to keep the workers on its payroll through September 28, and we are working closely with Cargill and our partners at the Milwaukee HIRE Center to assist these workers. Fortunately, dozens of employers are stepping forward to fill openings and we will continue to work with Cargill and other stakeholders to help affected workers pursue new opportunities.”

The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave. in Milwaukee. About 40 employers will take part in the event, which is exclusively for Cargill employees.

The DWD and the Milwaukee HIRE Center are also hosting Rapid Response orientation sessions for the laid off workers to explain the programs and services available to them, including job search assistance, potential job training opportunities and unemployment insurance benefits.

Cargill’s 10-building Milwaukee complex is on a 29-acre lot in the Menomonee Valley. The fabrication and harvest and cooler portions, which comprise about 75,000 square feet, will be shut down. Cargill said it needs to shut down the beef harvest facility there because of the tight cattle supply brought about by producers retaining cattle for herd expansion.

The ground beef plant at the Milwaukee site will remain open. That facility has about 200 employees.

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