Prospects interested in PM Beef: Windom processing facility to close Dec. 11
WINDOM -- With PM Beef in Windom (PM Windom) slated to shutter its doors three weeks from today, Windom Economic Development Authority Executive Director Aaron Backman has been fielding calls from prospects interested in potentially buying the ca...
WINDOM - With PM Beef in Windom (PM Windom) slated to shutter its doors three weeks from today, Windom Economic Development Authority Executive Director Aaron Backman has been fielding calls from prospects interested in potentially buying the cattle processing facility.
“There might be more to tell after Thanksgiving,” Backman said, adding that while his office has received some calls, he knows others are contacting PM Windom directly with interest in the plant.
Backman said while some are interested in using the facility as a processing plant, he’s also fielded calls from real estate companies wanting to market the complex.
“Several parties have been interested enough to tour the PM Beef plant in Windom,” Backman said. “The most recent was on Saturday.”
The interested parties are coming from across the country, he added.
The fact that there is interest in the processing plant is good news for Backman and the community.
“I’m pleased that there are a number of businesses interested in potentially acquiring this facility, renovating it and operating it as a processing plant,” he said.
The original portion of the processing plant was completed 63 years ago. An $18 million expansion was done in 2001, adding 180,000 square feet and kosher lines to the facility.
PM Beef owned the plant for more than 20 years. Prior to that, it was owned by Caldwell Packer.
The last day of beef processing at the plant was Sept. 25, at which time the plant was closed for maintenance. When workers returned to PM Windom on Oct. 12, they learned cattle processing wasn’t going to start up again. Still, they were told their jobs would remain until Dec. 11.
Backman said when PM Windom announced its closure, the EDA immediately contacted the Workforce Center, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Private Industry Council (PIC).
“They activated their rapid response team,” he shared, adding that at least 50 PM Windom employees - about one-fifth of the company’s workforce - will take advantage of a dislocated worker program that allows them to attend college to enhance their training and skills. Backman said many of those individuals are enrolling in classes at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, South Central College and Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Another group of displaced workers have obtained work elsewhere, including at JBS in Worthington, Monogram Meats in Chandler or other food processing facilities in southwest Minnesota.
“So far, there hasn’t been a huge impact on our housing or education system,” Backman said. Part of the reason, he said, is that so many of PM Windom’s employees were commuting from other towns.