RAEFORD, HOKE COUNTY -

The last day of work has come for about 1,000 employees of a House of Raeford Farms turkey plant in Hoke County.
    
The last workers start their layoff Thursday afternoon in the rural region where unemployment was 9.2 percent in June. The plant has been processing poultry since the 1950's and some employees have worked there for 20 years or more.
    
The business is a casualty of dropping customer demand for frozen turkeys.
    
Some employees will be transferred to a second plant in Raeford that employs 400 and processes lunch meat, ground turkey and chicken. The company says it will provide severance packages to eligible workers.
    
The newly unemployed will receive state jobless benefits that were reduced this July in both amount and length of time workers can collect.