Imlay City pickle plant expansion gives previously unemployed a new opportunity

Pinnacle Foods and Vlasic Pickles are expanding their production during the busiest cucumber time of the year, meaning more for consumers and unemployed Michiganders.

During peak season more than one thousand employees are working at the Vlasic plant in Imlay City and their new expansion is adding even more to that number.

Pinnacle Foods' Vlasic facility is adding 29 new full time jobs. Giving recently laid off Michiganders a new opportunity.

"Once school let out they started laying us off because of pay cuts," said Flint resident Kenshanna Smoots.

Smoots is a mother of three and previously unemployed. Now she is working for the plant full time.

"Itâ??s tough I have never seen this many pickles in my life," said Smoots.

The expansion makes Imlay City the only Vlasic Pickle plant in the nation after the company closed its plant in Delaware.

"While were sorry to see those folks lose a job those jobs came here to Michigan," said Plant Manager Gary Lauber.

The jobs here are going to support jarring over a million pounds of pickles a day.

"We have hard working people and the main thing is we are finding opportunities to let them go be successful and raise a great family," said Governor Rick Snyder.

People like Kenshanna Smoots who are getting another chance at supporting themselves.

"I never thought that I would be working for a pickle factory but what was I going to do? I have three kids I have to support," said Smoots.

The Imlay City plant is open 21 hours a day between six and seven weeks of the year. Governor Snyder says itâ??s that type of work that's going to bring Michigan out of a recession.