Central Texas Plant to Close, 150 People Laid Off - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Central Texas Plant to Close, 150 People Laid Off

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WACO -

Oak Farms is eliminating their milk production operations and selling product it brings in from other plants causing 150 people to lose their jobs.

Dean Foods owns the plant, and this isn't the first one they closed. In March they stopped production at the plant in Shreveport laying off 170 people. All of this is due to Dean Foods working to improve their operations capability.

"We've been looking at a network optimization for a few years now at Dean Foods," said spokesman for the company, Jamaison Schuler. "In this case Waco specifically and we looked at our plants in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio."

Dean Foods determined they can best support customers from Waco with the other facilities around Texas.

The Dallas based company has owned the plant in Waco since 2001. Oak Farms has a number of local retailers they serve, as well as schools, but none of them will be impacted by the closing. The company still plans to keep some positions here in Waco for local distribution and sales.

"We are still going to maintain a distribution branch here in Waco that will employ about 25 people," Schuler said. "It will still be here in the community and an employer in the community. Oak Farms brand will still be available for distribution."

Dean Foods has a branch in Temple and Austin, but none of those are expected to close.

Affected employees will be working for another 60-90 days and production will stop after that. Employees will have the opportunity to apply for placement in other areas of the company or they will get severance packages.

Dean Foods released a statement:

"We regret the impact that this decision will have on our employees and our community. The decision to eliminate jobs in any part of our business is never an easy one. We need to improve our operations capability, and operating fewer plants will help us streamline our operations. The decision to discontinue production at this location does not reflect the quality of work performed by our employees, but the competitive nature of the marketplace."

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