The Energizer battery plant in Maryville has officially initiated the process that will lead to the factory's closing its doors later this year.
As required under federal law, St. Louis-based Energizer Holdings Inc. last month submitted a letter to the Missouri Department of Economic Development announcing that it would begin the shutdown sometime around March 25.
According to the letter, the bulk of the factory's remaining workforce of approximately 290 workers will be laid off between March 30 and Nov. 30.
The move confirms the corporation's announcement in November 2012 that it was implementing a restructuring plan that would close facilities and cut 1,500 jobs worldwide, or about 10 percent of the company's workforce.
Workers are to receive either 60 days' notice, 60 days' wages and benefits, or a combination of the two, the letter stated. The terms are designed to comply with requirements set forth in the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Brought online in the fall of 1971, Energizer was one of northwest Missouri's major employers for decades and at one time had a payroll of about 800 workers.
Now that a firmer timeline for the plant closure is in place, Kim Mildward, who runs the Missouri Career Center office in Maryville, said her office is doing all it can to help displaced workers find new jobs.
She said that programs available at the center include a job-listings database and resume assistance along with help for those wishing to brush up on general workplace skills, such as reading for content and applied mathematics.
In addition to job-interest surveys, the center also offers computer-based preparation for the WorkKeys assessment, a standardized test that helps determine an employee's readiness for re-training in a specific vocational area.
Mildward said that a resource team made up of local representatives from education, business, government and economic development continues to meet in order to enhance services for jobless workers.
However, the specific scope of those services — which could include everything from additional computers to training resources — remains undefined.