The Rich Products frozen dough plant in Downtown Fresno will close, leaving 111 people out of work soon. Image via Google Street View

published on August 9, 2021 - 1:45 PM
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The Rich Products Fresno plant at 320 O St. will close permanently by February 2022, laying off 111 employees, according to a state-mandated notice shared with the City of Fresno.

The 98-year-old factory makes frozen dough for the food service industry. One veteran employee wrote in a social media post “I only have good things to say about the company. I’ve worked here for 33 years. The downfall of the company is they are discontinuing production at the Fresno plant.”

A company HR representative confirms that “all employees have been told” of the impending closure, which was also announced under the  Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

The WARN Act requires certain California employers to give affected employees at least 60 days written advance notice of any plant closing or mass layoff. 

In a statement, the company says: “Based on business and capital assessments, Rich Products has made the difficult decision to close our Fresno, CA manufacturing site and move production to our Lodi, CA and Murfreesboro, TN facilities. Fresno’s 98-year-old infrastructure and current capabilities have limited our ability to meet market demands for more fully finished products. Production is slated to cease in February 2022, with operations shutting down at the end of March 2022. Moving production to Lodi and Murfreesboro offers us greater capabilities for further expansion in the future and is the right decision as we continue to create value for our customers.”

“This decision is in no way a reflection of the team in Fresno, who has a long history of strong performance and service to our customers.”

The state WARN notice says employees were informed as of July 31 and layoffs will begin in November with a second phase in February 2022.

“Rich’s will fully support our impacted associates with severance packages and career transition services. We also will be reaching out to other Fresno-based manufacturers to identify potential placement opportunities for our people. The market for manufacturing jobs in Fresno is strong and we feel confident that those impacted will find new career opportunities.”

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