Des Moines, Iowa – Iconic Iowa brand, John Deere, has announced a series of layoffs at various locations, as revealed in an email sent to employees on May 31. Iowa Workforce Development reports that the layoffs will impact several sites, including John Deere Waterloo Works, John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, John Deere Intelligent Solutions in Urbandale, and more. Despite these layoffs, the global company, employing 70,000 individuals worldwide, sees the Iowa numbers as a small portion of its entire workforce, according to Matthew Mitchell, a professor of strategy at Drake University.

Mitchell characterizes these actions as measured and planful, noting that John Deere took steps such as implementing a hiring freeze before eventually announcing the layoffs. The company reported a net income of $2.370 billion in the second quarter of the year and expects the fiscal 2024 net income to reach around $7 billion. While the construction industry remains stable, global agricultural and turf demands are not as robust, leading to the recent layoffs.

These layoffs follow previous announcements from the company, including 190 job cuts scheduled for later in the month and over 300 layoffs in April. Mike Schechinger, the store manager at Van Wall Equipment in Urbandale, expressed concerns about the situation but remains hopeful for a turnaround. Iowa manufacturing, according to Association of Business and Industry President Mike Ralston, continues to showcase strength overall, with the potential for other employers to absorb former John Deere workers and the company itself to rehire in the future.

Despite the challenges faced by John Deere, the company remains committed to its workforce and operations in Iowa. With a strategic approach to cost control and production, coupled with a focus on long-term sustainability, John Deere aims to navigate the current market environment and position itself for growth in the coming years. The layoffs are seen as a necessary step to secure the business’s future health and viability, even though they present challenges for affected employees and local communities. As Iowa adapts to these changes in the manufacturing sector, the hope remains for a rebound and resurgence in the industry, benefitting both workers and stakeholders alike.