Factory Shutdown Results in Over 500 Employees Being Laid Off

(DailyVantage.com) – City officials have announced that Pepisco is planning to close a factory in Danville, Illinois, which will cost more than 500 Quaker Oats employees their jobs.

According to the announcement, the factory will cease operation entirely on June 8th but will continue to pay its employees until the effective date. The Quaker Oats factory has already stopped production but has given employees an additional two months to seek alternative employment before it ends their employment officially. Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. claims that the city plans to work with the employees affected by the closure to help them find suitable employment elsewhere.

While discussing the closure, Williams expressed his disappointment in the impending mass layoff and its hardship for the factory’s staff. Williams also said that the layoff would affect the entire community of Danville due to concerns that other similar closures could follow. In his statement, Williams explained that he wasn’t entirely sure if all the employees had been laid off or if some had their employment transferred to other facilities. The factory shutdown surprised Danville residents due to the production facility’s longtime presence within the area.

Quaker Oats opened the factory in 1961 and continued to operate it after Pepsico acquired it in 2001. The factory primarily produced mixes for cereal, pancakes, and Quaker Oats granola bars. Quaker Oats recently made national headlines due to a widespread recall in December, which saw the company recalling its trademark granola bars due to a risk of salmonella contamination. The recall prompted Quaker Oats to shut down the facility and transfer its production to a newer factory due to fears of another potential product defect.

When explaining the announcement, Quaker Oats claimed that shutting down the factory was a hard decision, and the shutdown’s impact on the community saddened company officials. Quaker Oats also said it has already informed the employees who’d lose their employment due to the shutdown and will work with them to help them find new jobs in the coming months. The factory shutdown resulted in 510 Quaker Oats employees searching for new work, which is hard to find in Danville due to the town’s smaller work sector.

The factory shutdown prompted Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to release a statement assuring Danville citizens that the state is working with Quaker Oats to determine what Quaker Oats could use the location for in the future. According to Pritzker, Illinois’s state officials want to ensure that the factory could still serve an economic purpose and help members of Danville’s community. While the state of Illinois hasn’t confirmed an official use of the property once the factory shuts down in June, Quaker Oats is currently engaged in conversations regarding the facility’s future.

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