Major Local Floral Employer Closes

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Major Local Floral Employer Closes

Video BOLIVAR, Mo — Teter’s Floral Products Inc. announced this week that they would be closing their doors permanently. Now, hundreds of jobs potentially hang in the balance. Teter’s Floral Products Inc. has provided seasonal employment in Bolivar for more than 60 years, and now they will be closing its doors for good. The company announced this week it will be laying off employees, and hundreds of people could be without a job. KOLR10 briefly spoke to supervisors, who were not authorized to go on camera, who say it’s hard to know exactly how many people could be affected by the announcement due to Teter’s seasonal nature of employment. One thing is for sure, Bolivar is losing a major employer. Bolivar State Representative Mike Stephens says over the years, Teter’s has been crucial in providing seasonal employment for Bolivar and the surrounding community, but claims in recent years it has been controlled by investment groups and conglomerates who don’t have local interest in mind. “I had no notice whatsoever, and I believe that the employees were just about the same. The needs of the community are not held in high regard as far as the functioning of the business is concerned,” Stephens says. The Bolivar Herald Free-Press reports that according to a news release received by Teter’s, the company has struggled with declining sales, changes in leadership, and meeting budgets. The company is only open a few months out of the year from November to around Memorial Day, so technically layoffs happen annually — but this time it’s different. “It did coincide with the seasonal layoff, but this time it’s apparently going to be permanent,” says Stephens. Katherine Trombetta with the Missouri Job Center says they have already met with a few workers from Teter’s to assist with their next steps, even if it’s in a different field. “In this job market right now, there are so many opportunities. We have so many opportunities for training here that it is a good time to be in the job market,” says Trombetta. For those who may not have a backup plan, the Job Center is ready to help. “We have people here who can talk to you and figure out the best way to help you in your career path.” For those fearing what lies ahead in unemployment, the Job Center has opportunities available now through companies they work with, and they also provide training for other fields like healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and IT. The Job Center even provides tuition assistance for those who qualify.