Efforts underway to help those affected by Tyson’s Noel closure

Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce says poultry plant closure is a ‘highly significant and pertinent matter, not only for McDonald County but for the entire surrounding region.’

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Tyson Chicken Drumsticks1
Andrea Gantz

Efforts to assist the people affected by the planned closing of the Tyson Foods poultry plant in Noel, Missouri, are under way, with a pair of area chambers of commerce leading those efforts.

On August, Tyson Foods announced that the plant in Noel would close later this year, as well as the company’s poultry plants in Dexter, Missouri; North Little Rock, Arkansas; and Corydon, Indiana.

With the closure of the plants, 1,513 Tyson jobs will be lost in Noel, which has a population of 1,225 people. McDonald County, where Noel is situated, has a population of 23,383, according to the most recent U.S. Census figures.

“Our hearts go out to the 1513 employees that received their notices of job loss this past Monday. Nothing we can say eases the stresses they are going through. Now is the time for the entire community (County) to come together and help as we can,” the McDonald County Chamber of Commerce stated on its Facebook page.

In response to the announced closure, the McDonald County chamber, with assistance from others, organized a career fair, which was held on August 16, where state agencies, schools, training centers, businesses and others provided resources for those who will be seeking employment.

The McDonald County Chamber has been in close communication with the nearby Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, which “has been dedicated to addressing regional impacts.” That organization is in the process of organizing its fall job fair, slated for October 3.

In reference to the planned Tyson closure, the Neosho Chamber in a press release stated: “This recent development has elevated into a highly significant and pertinent matter, not only for McDonald County but for the entire surrounding region. The workforce of Tyson makes up nearly a quarter of the total employment in McDonald County. These individuals are not just employees, but members of the community who contribute by supporting local businesses, purchasing essentials like fuel and groceries, and sending their children to schools within the region. The repercussions of such a substantial closure will be felt widely, and we stand ready to extend our support in any way possible.”

The Neosho chamber stated that it is promoting its job posting page, to which chamber members can publicize any job openings at no charge.

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