Opportunities wait for laid off John Deere employees - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Opportunities wait for laid off John Deere employees

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - Hundreds of John Deere employees are having to figure out whats next after news of layoffs. Friday, the company announced 565 positions will be laid off at three facilities in Waterloo.

The layoff dates are staggered at three Waterloo facilities. Some will begin in February and others not taking effect until March.

Cory Olson knows how it feels. After two and a half years, Olson was one of the many laid off in August by John Deere.

"I mean it didn't really seem like it was real until that day, until that shift ended and it's like ok well I don't have to come to work anymore or be able to just go and see all the people I work with day in and day out like I've been doing for two years now," said Olson. 

At Deere, Olson assembled the axle for the 9000 series tractors, now he's studying industrial maintenance at Hawkeye Community College.

"Obviously hope to get a job in the field of industrial maintenance," said Olson. 

Instructor Robert Stwalley says after six months students get a certificate in industrial maintenance.

"Tool up and hit the road," said Stwalley. 

He says his class is ready for these recent laid off employees and the need is there for people to help repair and upkeep equipment in industrial places.

"You know, you keep your maintenance guys. You keep them around because they can run the equipment, worst case," said Stwalley.    

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