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Over 1,000 Workers in Illinois Face Job Losses Due to Factory Closures

Illinois’ manufacturing sector has faced a significant downturn in recent months, with over 1,000 workers affected by the closure of four prominent factories.

These layoffs have been attributed to a range of factors, including operational costs, the need for facility modernization, and strategic shifts in production locations.

Among the companies downsizing their Illinois operations are Blommer Chocolate Company, Monterey Mushrooms, The Quaker Oats Company, and EV maker Rivian.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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The Quaker Oats Company disclosed plans this week to lay off 510 workers due to a strategic decision to relocate production to other sites, forgoing modernization efforts at its Danville facility.

Blommer Chocolate Company’s Chicago facility is closing down by the end of next month, which will lead to more than 200 job losses.

This decision was influenced by the facility’s age, location, and the heightened operational costs associated with maintaining the aging infrastructure.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian also announced cutbacks, attributing 100 layoffs at its Normal plant to a challenging economic environment marked by high-interest rates and geopolitical uncertainties.

These layoffs represent a fraction of Rivian’s overall staff reduction, which totals around 10 percent of its salaried workforce.

Finally, Monterey Mushrooms is closing down its Bureau County farm, which would impact nearly 100 employees working at the location.

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Credits: DepositPhotos

This move was prompted by an array of challenges, including weather conditions,  pandemic impacts, changing market dynamics and inflation.

The wave of layoffs highlights the broader challenges facing Illinois’ manufacturing sector, which has seen a steady decline in employment since the 1990s.

The St. Louis Federal Bank estimates that manufacturing jobs in the state have gone down from more than 900,000 in 1990 to less than 600,000 in 2024.

These layoffs illustrate the sector’s ongoing struggle to adapt to economic and operational pressures.

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