Farmville working for answers after business announces job loss

The Farmville facility owned by Pyxus International will stop tobacco processing operations September of 2019, according to a press release from the company. (Morgan Newell, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Just a month ago, Alliance One and its parent company Pyxus dropped a bombshell on the town of Farmville, it's mayor and council.

Now, some answers are finally being given to what will happen to over 500 people losing their jobs. Alliance One has been in Farmville for over 100 years. But its presence there will soon be dramatically different.

"I know that I was fighting an uphill battle because they wouldn't have made this decision had they not studied it real well," Mayor Robert Evans said.

Evans said he spoke with Herbert Weatherford, Alliance One's North and Central America Regional Director last week. He said the company potentially will offer covering travel to the Wilson tobacco plant where workers who were at the Farmville facility will be working. Evans also said Weatherford said health insurance for all employees losing their jobs could also be provided. Alliance One said the facility will not completely close. The press release from Pyxus says that "the Farmville facility will be repurposed for storage and special projects."

However, press representative for Alliance One were unable to answer questions about what parts of the facility will continue to be used, along with any details about how many employees will remain at the site after the bulk of layoffs take place.

Evans said the company is trying to do its best to be transparent through a difficult situation.

"They're keeping us posted on what's going on," Evans said. "However that's not a daily thing so it's a very fluid situation. I am pleased with everything except the results.

"I don''t feel all that relieved as far as the 565. However...I do believe Alliance One is covering all the bases."

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