Kingsport Times News Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Business & Technology

Kingsport's PET Dairy plant closing; 120 jobs to be lost

June 15th, 2009 12:00 am by Sharon Hayes

KINGSPORT - After more  than 50 years in operation, the  PET Dairy plant on Konnarock  Road is shutting its doors, resulting in the loss of 120 jobs.

Dean Foods announced Monday it will close the facility and  move production to other company locations.


Production will be phased out  in the next 90 days and will cease  entirely during the week of Sept.  7.


Dean Foods spokesman Amber Seikaly said the closure has  nothing to do with the recession.


“We just did a study of our operations and we determined that  there were efficiencies to be  gained by shifting production to  other Dean Foods facilities,  which enables us to serve our  customers more cost effectively,”  Seikaly said.


“Production will be moved to  other facilities in the area.”


About 120 plant, administrative and over-the-road driver positions will be impacted.


Seikaly said the company  plans to help those employees  find new jobs.


“We’re going to have recruit ment professionals there in the  next couple of weeks to help with  resumes and how they can do job  searches and things like that,”  she said.


As for the plant itself, Seikaly  said the company is weighing its  options on whether to sell or  lease the property.


Pet Dairy moved its production operation to the Kingsport  facility in 1953. Pet Dairy became  part of the Dairy Group under the  Dean Foods umbrella when  Suiza Foods merged with Dean  Foods in December 2001.


The Kingsport plant has produced fresh milk products for  East Tennessee, Southwestern  Virginia and Western North Carolina. The plant produces regular  fluid milk, flavored milk, butter milk, egg nog, soft serve ice cream  mix, half and half, heavy cream,  and flavored drinks.


Dean Foods is headquartered  in Dallas, Texas.

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