RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Smithfield Foods Inc. is laying off 120 more workers as part of its previously announced closure of a Virginia facility that makes hot dogs and deli meat.
The company announced plans in 2011 to close the Smithfield Packing Co. plant and shift production to a facility in Kinston, N.C. The Smithfield, Va.-based pork producer said Tuesday that it plans to close the Portsmouth plant in the middle of August.
Jermaine Fields, a 10-year employee of Smithfield Foods in Portsmouth, is planning to go back to school for welding classes.
"I'm good. They're going to pay me to go to school, so I'm going to continue what I do. That's all," he said. "We knew a long time ago they were going to close. It is what it is."
Layoffs at the facility began in January, with more than 400 workers to be affected by the time the plant is closed.
Herbert Gantt, a forklift operator when he started nine years ago, now has various jobs inside the plant.
"A lot of these people been here over 40 years. They really don't want to leave, but they got to go somewhere," said Gantt. "They've been providing a little training. Some people coming in with the job fair and stuff like that trying to get people another job."
Smithfield had said it was closing the plant because it cannot support the manufacturing technology changes and product development necessary to meet its needs.
The move comes amid the company's pending $4.72 billion takeover by China's largest meat producer.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Camden County Sheriff Tony Perry said that during the last two weeks, incidents of breaking and entering and home or vehicle larceny have increased in two areas of the county.
A Facebook post helped Elizabeth City Police identify and locate the suspect of a hit-and-run incident involving a 3-year-old this week.
As Newport News Fire Chief Scott Liebold plans to retire at the end of this month, the city is looking for his replacement -- and they want your help.