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Deere Lays Off 700

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I don’t remember any company with a bad jobs’ announcement this big recently in Iowa. John Deere announced it was laying off about 700 people in Ottumwa (that town has a population of about 25,000). About three hours afterwards, Iowa Governor Chet Culver’s office released a statement tauting his I-JOBS plan. Here’s the statement:

“Today we received the disappointing news that hundreds of employees at the John Deere facility in Ottumwa will lose their jobs. This is just one more sign that the global economic challenge continues to affect Iowans.

“I have been in contact with officials from Iowa Workforce Development, and as a result of the Deere’s announcement, a Rapid Response Team has been dispatched to the plant tomorrow to work with those employees who have been affected, and determine what steps they can take to get back to work.

“This announcement makes our efforts to revitalize Iowa’s economy even more important. The I-JOBS plan is moving forward as quickly as possible, with the I-JOBS Board holding their first meeting tomorrow and Treasurer Fitzgerald expecting to issue the bonds in a matter of weeks. I-JOBS, when combined with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, means nearly $3 billion in economic stimulus for Iowa, which will be used to put Iowans to work and build a smarter, safer, stronger future for our state.

“While this news – and all news on layoffs — is disappointing, I remain confident that Iowa’s best days are ahead, and I look forward to working with Iowans to create the bright future we all know is possible.”