Pinellas plant to close, leaving 210 jobless

For many of us, they have been staples since we were kids – a Good Humor ice cream sandwich and a Klondike bar.
 
The treats have also been a staple in Pinellas County, where they’ve been manufactured for almost 30 years.
 
But now the longtime plant that produces mainly Klondike, Good Humor and some Popsicle products is shutting its doors.
 
"I already miss [it]," Alina Pal said. "That was half my life."
 
Pal has worked at the plant for 20 years after coming to the United States from Poland. She has nothing but good things to say about her job.
 
"The company treat us like family here,” she said.
 
But now she and 210 fellow employees will soon be out of a job. According to parent company Unilever, investments in technology at other plants mean the ice cream production in Pinellas Park will move to plants in Tennessee and Missouri.
 
According to a plant manager, all employees have been told if there is a position available elsewhere in the company they can apply and relocate.
 
But for workers like Anwar Douse, who also loves working for Unilever, that is not an option.
 
"I love Florida," he said. "So I don't think I'll relocate."
 
Douse will look for a manufacturing job closer to home.
 
As for Pal, she is not sure what she will do, but she knows what she will be doing the day the plant closes.
 
"We will be walking with sad faces and crying," she said.
 
The plant is expected to close in September.
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