LANDOVER, Md. – Smithfield Packing Company Inc. will shift its bone-in ham production to North Carolina and Kentucky and permanently close its Landover, Md. facility by early fall, the company announced March 14.

"We deeply regret having to close this facility because we recognize that layoffs and plant closings are difficult for everyone concerned," said Tim Schellpeper, president of Smithfield Packing, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. "However, the Landover plant is a facility that no longer meets our ever-changing production needs. We will work diligently to transfer as many employees as possible to our other operations."

The plant closing will impact 175 hourly and salaried employees, according to the company. Some employees will be offered jobs at other Smithfield packing facilities. The company also will negotiate with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) officials regarding other potential opportunities.

Smithfield Packing will give a 60-day notification of the plant closure, in compliance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). The company also will notify state dislocated worker units so that they can promptly offer dislocated worker assistance.