With Kroger closing, MDD springs into action

When news broke Wednesday that Kroger decided to close its Brownwood location, officials with the Brownwood Municipal Development District immediately went to work looking for ways to help the impacted employees find new jobs, and for developers to fill the retail space that will be vacated by Kroger in March.

“People are our first priority,” said Marshall McIntosh with the Brownwood Municipal Development District. “As an MDD,  our most important thing is what we do with those jobs, whether that’s working with Kroger to see how we can transition those jobs, to holding a job fair tailored to those employees like we did with the Ron Jackson unit a few years ago, or working through Demand Staff or Texas Workforce Commission.”

McIntosh said the MDD has already contacted developers with whom the city has made connections through the ICSC conventions, with some interest being shown.

With an unemployment rate hovering around four percent, it should be easy to find new jobs for the employees laid off by Kroger’s closing. 61 employees will be affected, though some will be eligible for severance packages.

Meanwhile, McIntosh said it could be a challenge to find a new business to take over the Kroger facility, as a four percent unemployment rate means potential employers could face challenges finding qualified workers.

Kroger announced the closure of the Brownwood store Wednesday. The store will close in March. Inventory will be marked down as the store seeks to empty its shelves prior to closing.