Factory workers in Illinois took a massive hit in recent months as a result of multiple factory closures leading to mass layoffs. Four factories throughout the state have reportedly closed since the start of 2024.

Four Factories Announced Over 1,000 Employees Would Become Redundant

Four factories throughout the state of Illinois announced at the start of the year that they would be undergoing a major change. One report indicated that they announced that over 1,000 employees would be made redundant.

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This mass layoffs and overall shift was reportedly caused by revenue losses and manufacturing costs. In addition, there was a clear need to relocate operations, which would also add to the need for layoffs.

Quaker Oats Company Listed As One Of The Factories Impacted

One of the most recognizable brands impacted by this change was the Quaker Oats Company. In addition, Blommer Chocolate Company also either announced the need for mass layoffs since January of this year.

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Rivian and Monterey Mushrooms were the two other factories impacted by the change.

Quaker Oats Announced Permanent Closure Of Danville Factory

The Quaker Oats Company announced in a statement that they are permanently closing one of their facilities. The specific location was the facility in Danville, Illinois.

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The Quaker Oats Company also announced that it would make ten redundancies. The overall plan for the company is to relocate operations to other factory locations.

Quaker Oats Company Referenced Need For Modernization, Enhancements At Facility

Within the statement, the Quaker Oats Company also cited the various needs that were considered for the facility. For instance, it focused on the need for modernization.

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In addition, there were reportedly enhancements that were needed at the facility. These particular enhancements would require the facility to be closed and remained closed for an extended period.

Company Initially Paused Production After Quaker Recall

The company reportedly paused production initially after a recent Quaker recall. The recall, which started in December 2023, allowed the company executives to go back to the drawing board to decide how to move forward.

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The company shared the statement that was issued to all employees to WCIA News after informing their employees within a series of meetings on Wednesday.

Quaker Oats Recalled Specific Granola Bars, Cereals Due To Salmonella

The risk of contamination with Salmonella is what sparked the initial concerns that led to the Quaker recall back in December. Specific granola bars and granola cereals were targeted in the recall, including multiple flavors of the Quaker Big Chewy Bars and Quaker Puffed Granola cereal.

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As of the date of the recall, Quaker had not received any confirmed reports of illnesses caused by the products targeted by the recall. They did inform the FDA of their related actions, however.

Quaker Oats Decided To Move Production Instead Of Invest In Necessary Changes

The expenses associated with making the necessary changes would have been significant to say the least. As a result, the Quaker Oats Company decided to take a different approach to addressing the needs and issues associated with them.

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The company officially decided to move production and all operations that were initially done at the Danville location away from that facility. Production was moved to other facilities instead to avoid investing in the changes that would have been required to keep the Danville facility operational.

Quaker Oats Company: ‘We Do Not Make This Decision Lightly’ And ‘Recognize The Impact’

The Quaker Oats Company also referred to the impact of the decision within its official statement. The company indicated that they did “not make this decision lightly.”

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The company also added that they “recognize the impact it will have on our employees, their families, and the Danville community.” The population of Danville, Illinois was approximately 28,472 in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau.

Production Was Most Common Job Group In Danville, According To Report

One report shows that production occupations are the most common job group in Danville, Illinois. The report, which was compiled by Data USA, estimated that over 3,200 people working in the production industry from 2020 to 2021.

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There were reportedly over 3,150 people working in the “Office & Administrative Support” field within the same period. The “Sales & Related Occupations” group consisted of a little more than 2,900 people.

Quaker Oats Company Is ‘Working Closely’ With Employees, Local Community Officials

The Quaker Oats Company also confirmed that the workforce has been notified of the mass layoff and overall changes being made.

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The statement further explained that they “are working closely” with their employees “and local community officials to provide a supportive transition.”

Local County Offers One-On-One Assistance To Those Affected By Factory Closure

Vermilion County Works posted an announcement via Facebook that they are offering assistance on a one-on-one basis to those impacted by the Quaker Oats factory closure. Some of the services offered to assist the community include interview skill improvement and resume modifications.

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WCIA news obtained a letter that explained the details of the factory closure from the Human Resources department. According to the letter, over 510 employees would be laid off from that specific facility location.

Quaker Oats Company Scheduled Danville Factory Closure For Early June

According to the Quaker Oats Company, the Danville factory is currently scheduled to close on June 8. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International Union leaders have also reached out to the impacted employees with a letter that breaks down details of the transition benefits.

Source: Pixabay/Andreas Lischka

The city mayor and directors from other agencies have worked together on this matter as well to provide additional support and resources for the impacted workers.

Danville City Mayor, Local Agencies Issued Joint Statement On Factory Closure

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams, Jr. apparently worked with Danville & Vermillion County Works Director Chuck Jones to issue a joint statement regarding the factory closure and aftermath of the mass layoffs. They were also assisted by Vermilion Advantage CEO Mike Marron.

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The statement confirmed that the June 8th closure would shut down a factory that was in operation for more than “65 years of production in Danville.” According to the statement, “the business has already ceased production but will continue to pay their employees through that time.”

‘Our Hope Is To Connect Great Workers To Great Employment Communities’

The joint statement also stated that their “hope is to connect great workers to great employment opportunities.” It added that “together, we will weather this storm.”

Source: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

Vermillion Advantage reportedly shared its job board for the employees located at the Quaker Oats facility in Danville that will close to consider. The statement added that they are “currently updating a list of local job opportunities and discussing training opportunities that will help them transition into other roles in the community.”