Layoffs on the horizon for Prairie Farms employees

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 7:10 PM EST
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WSAZ) - Dozens of employees within the dairy company, Prairie Farms -- previously referred to as Broughtons -- are facing layoffs ahead of the holidays.

Darin Copeland, the company’s public relations manager, said employees at the Marietta plant and associated branches were informed Wednesday that all assets are being sold to United Dairy effective Dec. 31.

“Trying to lessen the amount of layoffs,” said Courtney Bitticks, the payroll and benefits director for Prairie Farms.

Currently, 150 employees are facing layoffs, according to Bitticks.

In our region, between the branch locations in South Point, Charleston and Oak Hill, Bitticks says 37 employees are affected.

“Unfortunately we will not be able to hire all of the employees. We will be talking to all of them and try to hire as many as we can. It’s going to take a little bit to assess how many we actually need,” Doug Longnette, the director of human resources at United Dairy, said.

Longnette says they will focus on filling a number of their positions with employees from Prairie Farms before looking anywhere else.

“We feel really bad, especially at this time of the year. It would never be a good time to know you’re going to lose your job,” Longnette said.

An official with United Dairy said he hopes to have the numbers crunched by the middle of next week about how many Prairie Farms employees they will be able to hire.

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