More than 300 people who make Hot Pockets at a Chatsworth manufacturing plant are being laid off as Nestlé USA moves to consolidates operations, the company announced.
The deep-fried frozen food pockets have been made at the San Fernando Valley facility since 1988, but it will soon be moving those positions to its plant in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. It plans to invest $13 million in that plant and alter its production schedule into a 24-hour operation.
"Unlike other manufacturing facilities we operate in California, the Chatsworth facility presents some challenges to our business needs," Nestlé USA’s Chief Technical Officer Martial Genthon said in a written statement announcing the move.
"While the decision to stop manufacturing Hot Pockets at our California facility is a tough one because it affects 360 of our Nestlé employees, it is the right decision for our business."
Roz O’Hearn, a spokeswoman for the company, said production will cease in early October.
O’Hearn said the decision was reached after the company realized the dense industrial area where the current factory sits had little room for growth.
“That facility is hemmed in on all sides by other facilities. There isn’t any opportunity for growth there if we want to do that in the future,” she said.
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O’Hearn said the company will help employees affected by the closure, and they will be eligible for any potential openings at Nestlé’s other production facilities in California, including Bakersfield, Tulare, Oakland and Modesto.
“This was not an easy decision, especially when it affects people who have been wonderful colleagues,” she said. “But it is the right decision.”
Nestlé USA, is based in Glendale. It acquired the Hot Pockets brand in 2002.