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updated: 5/18/2017 4:39 PM

Butterball to close Montgomery plant, cuts 600 jobs

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  • Butterball is closing its Montgomery facility and laying off 600 workers by July.

    Butterball is closing its Montgomery facility and laying off 600 workers by July.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Butterball is closing its Montgomery facility and laying off 600 workers by July.

    Butterball is closing its Montgomery facility and laying off 600 workers by July.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTOButterball's Turkey Talk Line will remain in Naperville.

    DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTOButterball's Turkey Talk Line will remain in Naperville.

 
 

Butterball LLC said Thursday it will close its bacon processing plant in Montgomery and cut about 600 full-time jobs by July 17.

North Carolina-based Butterball said the closure is due to "changing market conditions" and "consumer needs."

About four years ago, Butterball bought Montgomery-based Gusto Packing Co., a maker of pork and turkey products under private labels for retail and food services nationwide. At that time, Butterball said it was looking to use the family-owned business to support its geographic expansion plan and manufacture innovative products.

Gusto, founded in 1972, operates at 2125 Rochester Drive, in Montgomery, located near Aurora.

Overall, the 60-year-old Butterball has about 7,000 employees who produce about 1 billion pounds of turkey products annually with processing facilities in North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri. Once Montgomery closes its 260,000-square-foot facility, Butterball will no longer have processing plants in Illinois.

Besides placing some affected workers at other facilities, Butterball "will be seeking support from local and state economic agencies to find a buyer for the facility with the hope of securing new opportunities for the local economy," Chief Operating Officer Jay Jandrain said.

However, Butterball will continue to operate its well-known Butterball Turkey Talk Line in Naperville with about 50 employees, Jandrain said.

The Workforce Development team at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will work with Butterball to provide workshops, job training and placement assistance to help the affected workers find new jobs, said Jacquelyn Reineke, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce.

The Butterball plant closure is yet another major hit for Montgomery. Caterpillar said in March it would close a plant in there by next year and lay off about 800 production workers.

Montgomery village President Matt Brolley did not immediately return a call seeking comments.