Oneida County Board Hears Update About Petco-Drs. Foster & Smith

January 17, 2019



A report to the Oneida County Board Tuesday detailed the layoff at the Petco facility and what actions are being taken to help alleviate the loss of 289 jobs announced last week.

Oneida County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Stacey Johnson says Petco has stepped forward to help displaced workers...

"..Petco corporation has hired a third party to come in. They spent between $70,000-$80,000 on this company to also offer sessions to help prepare employees to transition to different fields within our community. What has been a positive about this in comparison to other closures I've gone through is the comapnay 100 percent wants to work with as many people as possible so long as what's being offered is effective for their employee needs..."

She told the board it looks like they could lessen that number before the closure takes place in June. 80 percent of the job losses will happen in March.

She says a couple key positions will remain in the area in addition to the live Aquatic Center...

"..They are doubling the size of the live aquatic center. It's the entire aquatic center of the entire Petco corporation that does what it does here in Rhinelander. It's a very interesting location to have live coral production, most of the time that happens on the coasts. But it's done so effectively here, that it has the lowest mortality rate of fish being transported..."

Johnson says Petco officials are looking at what portion of the property to keep and what portion to sell and she reported there has been interest in the property located in the Rhinelander Industrial Park near the airport.

Regarding the job losses, County Board Chair David Hintz quoted Vince Lombardi...

"...I pulled out my Vince Lombardi mug and I think the quote on the mug is appropriate: 'It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up'. I think we've been knocked down by this but we are going to get up and move ahead with good plans..."

A Rapid Response Team of state, local and federal officials met for the first time Tuesday to help displaced workers transition to new jobs

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