The Western Sugar Cooperative has announced that it will slowly be phasing out its Torrington sugar beet factory, leaving about 70 people in the area out of work.
Jenny Pragnell is with the Goshen County Economic Development Corporation. She says she has lived in Goshen County her whole life and this is probably the biggest layoff she has seen.
"Not only will there be the regular full time workers that are being affected, but there’s also the seasonal workers as well. A lot of those people are from the area, and they just work at the sugar factory during the campaign to supplement their regular income," she says.
But Kent Wimmer with the Western Sugar Cooperative says seasonal employees actually factored in to the decision to close.
"We were having a very very difficult time finding seasonal employees to operate our factory at Torrington," says Wimmer.
Wimmer also cites the location of the Torrington Facility as inconvenient, since the trucks actually ship the beets past the Nebraska plant to get to Torrington. The Co-op will be expanding its Nebraska and Colorado factories to make up for the closure.
The factory will close sometime in the next two years. It will be converted to a shipping and storage facility for the cooperative