POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Eastern Idaho leaders say they're still working to find a new purpose for the J.R. Simplot potato processing plant in Aberdeen.
The Simplot company announced last fall that it would close the plant in 2014, eliminating about 290 jobs.
Former Pocatello Mayor Roger Chase told the Idaho State Journal that the importance of the plant to the town of less than 2,000 people can't be overstated.
Chase is one of several working on the issue. He says the first step is for workers to keep doing a good job at the plant in the hopes that Simplot will decide to keep the business open. Officials are also talking with Idaho State University to see if there are classes they can bring to Aberdeen to teach new job skills.