Economic Director visits eastern Iowa, responds to Deere layoffs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Economic Director visits eastern Iowa, responds to Deere layoffs

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Director of Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham visited eastern Iowa Wednesday as she began her Travel Iowa Road Trip, a tourism tour including stops across the state. As part of the tour, she visited the John Deere Museum in Waterloo.

In light of the recent John Deere layoffs, a KWWL crew asked Durham what she thinks of the layoffs, and how they impact the manufacturing climate in eastern Iowa.

"We do find ourselves in a challenging time, there's no doubt about that. When you see where farm income is, the price of corn, I mean it's inevitable that we're going to see some downsizing in this manufacturing space," Durham said.

However, Durham said she believes the climate remains strong, explaining the manufacturing field encompasses more than simply agriculture and farming. She said other industries, such as food processing and chemical processing, have remained strong, and help make up for other suffering sectors.

KWWL asked Durham what advice she gives for laid off employees.

"I would tell a laid off employee to reach out to Iowa Workforce Development because there's opportunities... there are good opportunities in Iowa," Durham said.

As for the global economy, Durham believes the layoffs will have little to no impact overseas. She also noted John Deere construction and forestry sectors seem to be doing well.

According to the Cedar Valley Chamber of Alliance, a job fair is tentatively scheduled for March.
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