After sitting empty for more than a year, the former Birds Eye plant in Fulton will soon be up and running again. The facility has been sold, and as our Candace Hopkins reports, the new tenant is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the city.
FULTON, N.Y. -- It was December of 2011 when Pinnacle foods shut down their Fulton Birds Eye factory. The company moved production out to the midwest, taking nearly 300 jobs with them. Many of their employees were left jobless, others made the difficult choice to move with the company.
"We've had so much loss in this town, my aunt and uncle actually worked at Birds Eye, they had to move to Wisconsin to the new plant, so it's a loss in many different ways, I lost a real important part of my family," said Fulton Resident Craig Trude.
As of November of 2012 Oswego County's unemployment rate was 9.5 percent. With so many people out of work, for some jobs have been hard to come by.
"I manage a store in Oswego and I have at least ten or fifteen people a week walking into my store just asking for jobs," said Trude.
But Fulton's Mayor Ronald Woodward says within six months the city should gain nearly 200 new jobs. That's because a chicken processing company has purchased the former Birds Eye factory. It's a relief for city officials, who say their main goal has been getting residents back to work.
Fulton First Ward Alderman Alan Emrich said, "183 jobs is quite a big deal to this area, not only do people think about just the jobs, it's the overall impact of the city, it's jobs, it's incoming taxes, it's people living in the city of Fulton, it's pride restored in the city of Fulton."
Residents like Marie Morrell say those jobs can't come soon enough."We really need it, and I'd like to see this city get back up to where it used to be."
Mayor Woodward says the former Birds Eye employees will be given first considering for the job openings, and that hiring process should begin soon.