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POCATELLO -- Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad says he's trying to persuade H.J. Heinz Co. not to close its local facility but that city officials are also eyeing other options.

The food maker announced on Thursday that it will close three facilities in North America, laying off 1,350 workers in an effort to operate more efficiently. That includes the Pocatello facility, impacting 410 employees.

Blad tells the Idaho State Journal that he's written letters and is also trying to get a meeting with company owners to remind them about the plant's excellent workforce and that the plant was recognized two years ago as the most efficient in the company.

But if that doesn't work, the mayor says talks have been going on with another food-processing firm that is looking at expanding to Pocatello.

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