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John Deere Announces Layoff in Waterloo

WATERLOO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--One of the biggest employers in the Waterloo area is laying off more than 400 employees.

John Deere holds a huge significance for many in the Cedar Valley community.

"John Deere has been here over a hundred years and came to Waterloo when they purchased the Waterloo tractor company and began manufacturing operations here,” said Steve Dust, President and CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber.

"John Deere is our life blood, really, in Waterloo. It has been for a long time,” said Mayor Buck Clark, which makes the announcement of impending layoffs a big deal.

"Of course it's a big deal. I mean four hundred people in any economy and certainly ours that's very significant for over four hundred families,” Dust said.

According the company, they plan to layoff approximately 460 employees who work in its Waterloo operations by October 20th.

"Certainly it's not good news. Having said that, with the announcement a couple of weeks ago that John Deere was laying off in other parts of the state and other facilities this isn't a total surprise,” said Mayor Clark.

He says the city's main concern at this point is helping those who will soon be jobless find a new path.

"This is a bump in the road, but it's not going to set Waterloo as a community back. We will continue moving forward as we have in the past few years,” he said.

Deere officials say the layoffs are in response to a slow market demand for their products.

They plan to reduce production of agricultural equipment for the rest of the year.
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