Workforce board to meet with Kraft Heinz next month on Oscar May - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Workforce board to meet with Kraft Heinz next month on Oscar Mayer closure

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Workforce development officials are planning to start meeting with workers affected by the closure of the Oscar Mayer plant in Madison in mid-December, to help them make the transition into new employment.

Pat Schramm, executive director of the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, tells 27 News her team has a meeting with Kraft Heinz officials on December 14 to talk about their plans moving forward. Right now, the company is still negotiating with production and corporate workers. Kraft Heinz announced in early November it would close seven plants across North America, including the original Oscar Mayer facility in Madison.

250 corporate employees were offered transfers to Kraft Heinz's Chicago office and have to decide whether they'll move by the first week in December. After those decisions are made, Schramm says her organization can start holding workshops for employees to find out their needs for employment. About 674 production workers are affected by the closure.

Some workers at Oscar Mayer have contracts through December 2016, according to Schramm, which means layoffs may not be as soon as some initially expected.

The board is able to make some progress until mid-December. Schramm tells 27 News they've put together a survey being sent out to local companies that have offered to help find jobs for those who are being laid off. The board will then be able to learn what jobs are available and where, to have that info for their mid-December meeting with Kraft Heinz. Around 40 companies from all over the state have reached out to the board with job openings, Schramm says.

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