Winn One for the Dixie

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Several Madison County residents are now on the job at the newly bought Smithfield Packing Plant. The company acquired the facility from the Winn-Dixie Corporation in early September.

A spokeswoman for Smithfield says, "Smithfield Packing believes the acquisition of this facility will fit well logistically with other facilities in the east, as well as operationally, as Smithfield continues its growth."

Winn-Dixie Corporation sold its packing plant in Madison as an ongoing business, hundreds of folks were retained, but some were laid off.

Mike Demming says, "On one hand we're very excited that they retained some of the employees and on the other hand 183 folks have filed unemployment and we tried to get them in the job market because that's a tremendous economic impact for Madison and for those individuals."

The Smithfield company will allow displaced Winn-Dixie employees to apply and interview for jobs with the company.

Camille Brockman, "As you drive around the community you see the welcome Smithfield signs all around town. Everybody is so pleased that Smithfield chose to take over the facility and continue to provide employment that is very much needed here in Madison."

Madison County officials say the community would have been devastated if Dixie Packers closed its doors completely.