Created: 06/25/2014 6:14 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Albuquerque is hoping its Lucky Charms will keep as many as 250 General Mills jobs alive in the company’s cereal plant on the north side of town. General Mills is looking to slash expenses in its North American operations, and that would include the Albuquerque plant.
It’s way too early to speculate about layoffs or a plant shutdown. The company will say only that sales are down and it wants to find a way to save $40 million in the coming year, so all North American manufacturing and distribution operations are on the table for a “formal review”.
The Albuquerque plant opened in 1991 and underwent a major expansion in 2009. The jobs pay well with good benefits and to lose any or all of them would be a blow to an economy that seems stuck in a rut. Just look at a South Valley job fair organized by state Sen. Michael Padilla. Last year the event drew about 2,000 job-seekers. The one held Tuesday at Harrison Middle School drew more than double that number. New Mexico and New Jersey are the only states to lose jobs during the past twelve months.
“I’m looking for a call center position or an IT help desk position,” job-seeker Lisa Abeyta said. “I was recently let go with a company that was – downsizing I guess would be the best way to put it.”
“It’s kind of hard to find white collar jobs in Albuquerque,” said Gene Garcia, who described himself as under-employed. “Blue collar jobs are pretty readily available in the trades, especially when it comes to electricians and people with a commercial driver’s license.”
Meanwhile, back at General Mills, where the company prides itself on “crunch”, Albuquerque is hoping those jobs avoid the cost-cutting crunch.