Quaker Oats Shuts Danville Plant with 500 Workers Fired

(LibertySociety.com) – Danville, Illinois is preparing for the loss of 500 jobs after the Quaker Oats Company announced the permanent closure of its facility located in the city. The company is based out of Chicago and was acquired by PepsiCo in 2001.

The factory produced pancake mix and cereal during its 65 years of operation but switched to granola bar production in recent years. Last December, the company issued a mass recall of the granola bars for potential Salmonella contamination. The company said in a statement that the recall led to the company’s decision to produce the granola bars at a newer facility.

The company said it did “not make this decision lightly,” adding that it was working with “employees and local community officials to provide a supportive transition.” Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. confirmed the company’s decision to the community and other city officials. He said that the facility would close on June 8, although production had already stopped. He said that employees would continue to receive a paycheck until that date and that the community would unite to help the affected employees. He noted that he did not know if everyone was being laid off or if some of the employees were transferring to another facility.

In a Facebook post, Vermillion County Works announced it was assisting affected employees, including help with updating resumes and brushing up on interview skills. Quaker Oats employees can schedule one-on-one interviews with the federally funded workforce program administrator. Additionally, Vermillion County Works has already started filling out grant applications with the state to financially assist workers who want to return to school or learn a new skill. Director Chuck Jones said that the state has money set aside for these types of situations.

Vermillion Advantage, which is a Chamber of Commerce and an Economic Development Corporation, provided Quaker Oats employees with its job board in hopes of securing employment for affected workers and filling local positions.

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