Harvey's distribution center set to close - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Harvey's distribution center set to close

Nashville - Eighteen wheelers filled with groceries won't be leaving this Harvey's distribution center much longer. The center will shut down next May. "It's quiet a shock to us and quiet an economic loss to our community," said Robert Griner, County Commissioner.

A loss of an estimated 200 jobs. In addition to closing the distribution center, the company is also consolidating some of its corporate office functions, leaving dozens of employees there without a job. "They're the third largest employer in our area," said Griner.

The J.H. Harvey Company was bought by the Delhaize Group in 2003, and since the buyout, county leaders feared this announcement would come. In March, they put together an incentive package to help persuade the company to stay. "It was a package of local and state incentives worth about 5.2 million dollars, including tax breaks, grants, and land," said Mary Alice McGee, Industrial Development Director.

But apparently it wasn't enough to keep the center open. A spokesperson for the Delhaize Group says the affected employees will be offered opportunities at other distribution centers, severance packages, and outplacement support. "It's going to be hard for us to replace those jobs but that's our job and that's what we're going to work towards," said McGee.

The closing of the distribution center will be a devastating blow for this community, but county leaders are hoping this prime location, along with a skilled workforce, will help recruit new industry. "We hope we can create some new jobs for the people who are going to be set back by this announcement," said Griner.

New jobs that will help this community bounce back from an economic pitfall.

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