Statement on Tyson Plant Closing and Loss of 400 jobs in Jefferson

Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) reacted with disappointment at the decision of Tyson Foods to close its Jefferson plant resulting in the loss of 400 jobs.  The closure is expected to occur by mid-2016.  The company justified the closure based on the age of the plant and the high costs to renovate it.

“I share in the sadness of many people in Jefferson County for the uncertainty now facing the Tyson workers and their families.  The state will work closely with local officials and the company to actively assist workers in seeking new employment and retraining opportunities,” Nass said.

Nass noted efforts to assist the City of Jefferson with economic development.  He has been working with Representative Cody Horlacher to obtain $25 million in state funding to assist in the construction of a new Osteopathic Medical College in the City of Jefferson.  The construction of the new campus would cost a total of $125 million.  An economic impact analysis suggested the campus could create about 300 jobs over the long term and generate about $121 million in economic activity in Jefferson County.

“We must explore every opportunity to create economic activity and new jobs in our rural areas.  I strongly support the state partnering with the City Jefferson in making the Osteopathic College a high priority in 2016,” Nass said.

Nass also pointed out that the legislature must confront the reality of the flawed state jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).  Senator Nass has been a lonely voice amongst Republicans calling for scrapping the public/private agency.  He was the only Republican Senator to vote against the recent appointment of the agency’s new CEO.

“WEDC is seriously damaged and failing to effectively meet the public’s expectations in creating and saving jobs through it programs to assist the private sector.  We can’t waste more time and resources in trying to save the Titanic from sinking,” Nass said.