Gardiner-based Associated Grocers closing, laying off more than 100

Posted April 28, 2011, at 2:57 p.m.

GARDINER, Maine — A central Maine company that distributes products to hundreds of small independent grocery stores is going out of business.

Associated Grocers of Maine says continuing financial losses have forced it into receivership. In an open letter to customers, a court-appointed receiver said the business will be liquidated.

The Gardiner-based company has been in operation since 1953. It serves stores across Maine and into New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.

A union representative says the company employs more than 100 people.

Representatives from the Maine Department of Labor Rapid Response Team will host an informational session tomorrow for the workers affected by the closure of the company’s Gardiner facility.

The meeting will be held at the Augusta Armory from 10 a.m. to noon. Workers will receive information on unemployment benefits, CareerCenter employment and training services, and health care options.

The Maine Department of Labor Rapid Response program responds to layoffs and plant closings by quickly coordinating services and providing immediate aid to companies and their workers. Rapid Response teams work with employers and employees to provide information on unemployment, reemployment and training. The teams also help leverage and maximize public and private resources to minimize disruptions associated with job loss.

For more information about Maine Department of Labor services for job seekers, workers can  visit the Augusta CareerCenter at 21 Enterprise Drive in Augusta or visit www.mainecareer.com.

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