DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The city’s largest employer is handing out dozens of layoff notices. ADM announced it will be laying off some workers and the community is beginning to worry.
“You build your career around a place and then, all at once, they say, ‘We don’t need you anymore.’ It’s got to be tough on them,” said ADM retired employee John Foster.
A tough position for hundreds of community members as ADM continues to send out lay off notices. Foster worked for ADM for 33 years. He says it never gets easier knowing hard working people are now left wondering where to turn to next.
“I think it’s really hard on the people. I’ve been working there for a long time. That’s kind of hard on them basically when it’s kind of like a surprise.”
The company, which employees more than 4,800 people, says the reductions are part of an effort to “ensure we have the right resources in the right places and continue to be an agile and streamlined organization focused on growth,” said ADM Spokesperson Jackie Anderson.
“Our priority during this process is the respect and care of our employees, and therefore, we are not sharing any additional details at this time.”
However, Foster says it’s the uncertainty of if and when it can happen which hurts the most.
“About the people who have been laid off, it’s a gamut from corporate office down to just common people like me. Now they got to worry about their families.”
“Economy is not a straight line. There’s highs and lows. There’s business cycles. There’s going to be ups and downs so, whatever we can do to help take the peaks and valleys out of it, we want to do that,” said Ryan McCrady, President of Economic Development Corporation. “One of the things we can do is help people stay employed and get re-employed at other places.”
McCrady is just one of several community leaders trying to get the message out that, even during a tough time, there are opportunities for light at the end of the tunnel.
“I can’t stop it and I can’t prevent it but, what I can do, I’m going to try to do is provide a soft place for someone to land by providing these other opportunities.”
An ADM spokesperson says the company will be offering financial planning services to help people transition through the difficult times. There will also be a job fair in the coming weeks.
The Decatur Economic Development Corporation is standing by to offer any assistance to get people back into the workforce instead of leaving town.
ADM offered an early retirement package for those recently let go. 160 employees in Decatur took it. The company employs more than 4,800 people.