MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More than 130 Memphis jobs could be snuffed out at the end of the year as the American Snuff Company will shut down its facility in Southeast Memphis later this year.
Known for being the second-largest smokeless tobacco products maker in the US, American Snuff Company, which has been a part of Memphis since 1904, says it’ll be permanently closing its facility on Tradeport Drive in Southeast Memphis at the end of this year.
State Rep. Joe Towns calls this a major blow for Memphis and the state.
“Obviously, Alex, that’s sad news. We are on the edge of inflation and possibly a recession in the near future and certainly we don’t need to lose any jobs in this city or in this state,” Towns said.
In a memo from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the agency says American Snuff notified it that its permanent closure is expected to occur on Dec. 1, affecting more than 130 employees.
“I just recently received that letter and what I’m thinking is that Commissioner Thomas, we will talk with her and see if there is anything we can do retain those jobs. I have no idea what the nuances are why they’re leaving, but I know at the end of the day, it’s probably money,” Rep. Towns said.
As WREG has reported, American Snuff’s parent company, Reynolds America, was closing three facilities as part of an effort to streamline operations. The company’s ‘oral operations’ were moved from its Memphis facility to Clarksville, Tennessee.
WREG reached out to to the Greater Memphis Chamber for comment. Gwyn Fisher is the Chief Economic Development Officer at the Chamber.
“Greater Memphis has a growing economy, a robust economic development pipeline, and more jobs than ever before. We are confident our market will quickly absorb these positions,” Fisher said.
Still, Rep. Towns says doesn’t think this is a trend for Memphis, but it’s still a big loss.
“I know we need to look into trying to save those jobs and it such a sad thing when you have a company that old having to pack up. That’s not good for us at all,” Rep. Towns said.
The Chamber told WREG it will continue to recruit high-quality jobs and companies, and to add training opportunities that will accelerate our growth and improve our resiliency.