Local business leaders react to ADM layoffs - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Local business leaders react to ADM layoffs

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Agricultural processing company Archer Daniels Midland announced it's laying off some workers at it's Peoria plant, despite good second quarter earnings.  Some local business leaders say the Central Illinois economy has become more resilient by diversifying the labor market.

Archer Daniels Midland, also known as ADM, had second quarter net earnings this year  hitting $276 million dollars, a 39 percent increase  compared to last year.  But that's not stopping the company from local job cuts.  In a statement ADM said "we are notifying individuals about reductions of certain positions at the Peoria facility. "  
One local economic development official says despite ADM announcement and recent Cat layoffs other industries are growing

"Medical industry, a lot of the suppliers they've grown dramatically.  I think one of the things that's taking place in our area right now is what we call supply chain diversification where a lot of the companies that supply the infamous widgets as they call it," said Greater Peoria Economic Development Council Interim President Dennis Kief.

Some business official agree that ongoing budget and political battles can hurt future economic progress.  The head of the Chamber of Commerce says selling Peoria is not the problem but adds overcoming obstacles at the state level can be a challenge.  He says local leaders are trying to shift the focus. 

"We have research and development and engineering arms at  Bradley University and the hospitals and ag.  We just retained through the mayor's effort to maintain the ag campus ag laboratory here in Peoria.  Those technologies overlap with one another.  So we're re-inventing ourselves", said Greater Peoria Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Griffin.

Jeff Griffin says he hopes that eventually state leaders will try and do the same.   But only time will tell.  

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