We were saddened last week to learn of the decision by Kraft-Heinz to close their St. Marys Facility. I wanted to take a moment to ensure Council and the public that we are working very hard to do everything we can to support the workers affected and their families. This plant has had a long history in St. Marys, and its success has been representative of the positive business climate in this area, and the potential for success going forward.
Most Importantly, at this time we are working to get ready to support the workers at the plant.
-We have been encouraged by the support of many agencies and individuals that have offered support.
-We are meeting with representatives of the Ministry Colleges, University and training on Wednesday
-Partners in Employment and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will also be there
-We are fortunate to have an Adult Learning Centre in St. Marys, and we have been in contact with them about programs that they can offer.
-We will be meeting with the Mayor of Leamington, His Worship John Patterson, and the CAO and Economic Development Officer from the Town of Leamington on Thursday. It is our hope that we can learn from their experience and develop strategies going forward
-We have requested information on the timing and future plans for the Heinz plant, and will be meeting with company officials late Thursday afternoon. At that time, we will be asking details about the possible future uses for the plant, and asking Heinz to ensure the settlement of all outstanding accounts with the Town of St. Marys.
-I received a phone call from Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal last week, and he has pledged his support in helping us to remarket the plant and assist in any way his Ministry can
-We have had the ongoing support of MPP Randy Pettapiece, MP John Nater , and retired MP Gary Schellenberger
-I also want to thank Deb Hotchkiss from Partners in Employment, who has been a great resource. We have drawn on her experience in these situations, and it is our hope that we can organize a Job Action Centre soon, with the Cooperation of Heinz and the Ministry of Colleges University and Training.
- I also want to publicly thank our Town CAO Brent Kittmer, who has worked tirelessly to pull resources together and prepare us for the road ahead.
-Finally, I just want to stress that we will support the displaced Heinz workers to the best of our ability. That is our priority. We will pass on information as it becomes available.
-It is my belief that St. Marys remains a very vibrant community, and a great place to live and do business. We have challenges ahead, but our community will continue to thrive and grow.
Town of St. Marys