Butterball to close Illinois Aurora-area plant

MAY 18, 2017
The plant will close its doors by July 17 and offer some employees relocation opportunities.

Butterball announced that it will close its Montgomery-based facility, costing 600 jobs. The Montgomery plant specialized in bacon processing and will close its doors permanently by July 17.

Butterball cited “changing market conditions” and “consumer needs” as the reason for the closure.

Butterball has stated some workers may be relocated to other facilities.

“We are committed to retaining as many of our Montgomery employees as possible, and are committed to offering relocation assistance to any of our team members who have an interest in staying with the company and accept an available position at another location,” Butterball Chief Operations Officer Jay Jandrain said in a statement obtained by ABC 7 Chicago.

“In addition, we will be working diligently with leaders across the enterprise and with other resources in the days and weeks ahead to identify and provide opportunities for outplacement and retraining for those affected, and will be seeking support from local and state economic agencies to find a buyer for the facility with the hope of securing new opportunities for the local economy.”

The closure of the Butterball plant is yet another blow for the Aurora area. In March, Caterpillar announced it was closing its Aurora-based plant, costing the area 800 jobs.

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But it’s not just Aurora that’s hurting.

Illinois lost 8,900 jobs in March and has fewer jobs presently than 2000, when the state reached peak employment. For the past several years, manufacturing has been especially hard hit; in 2015, Illinois lost 5,000 manufacturing jobs and in 2016, Illinois lost 7,700 manufacturing jobs. And 2017 is not looking any better as Illinois lost 800 net manufacturing jobs in the first three months of 2017.

Since the turn of the century, Illinois has lost 300,000 factory jobs with most of the jobs gained in the service and hospitality sectors. Illinois also has some of the worst overall regional jobs growth, and since January 2010 has had the worst manufacturing jobs growth in the region.

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