The Western Sugar Cooperative has informed the city of Torrington and Wyoming Workforce officials that the company intends on permanent layoffs by the end of next January.
In a letter dated November 9th, Western Sugar officials say that approximately 92 employees will be laid off, which is expected to be permanent, starting January 10, 2019 or within 14 days after that date. The company says the decision was “based on current and projected business plans and needs.”
Torrington Mayor Mike Varney expressed frustration with the decision and the situation, saying the Torrington facility has been a solid asset for Western Sugar, even after it was still being used by the company after the cooperative had announced in 2016 plans to close the plant that year.
Varney told KNEB News he was concerned about the impact on employment in Torrington, and that the area did not have available positions to absorb such a mass layoff. He also said the impact could be significant on the city itself in a number of ways. Western Sugar has been a large customer for Torrington’s electrical system, and Varney said a shut down of the production side of the plant would have a negative impact on city finances.
Varney also said the layoffs are likely to have an impact on the city beyond the 2020 U.S. Census, with potentially fewer federal funds to be available if the city loses population as affected workers look to other regions for employment.
KNEB News reached out to Western Sugar about the letter and the decision, however company officials did not return repeated requests for further comment.