DuPont Pioneer Joins a Handful of Illinois Companies with Layoffs But is Hush-Hush on Number

Published: Apr 17, 2015

DuPont Pioneer Joins a Handful of Illinois Companies with Layoffs
April 17, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

DuPont Pioneer, formerly known as Pioneer Hi-Bred, confirmed on April 15 that numerous employees had been laid off from its facility in Good Hope, Ill. The company is renowned for creating hybrid seeds for agriculture, as well as genetically modified organisms. The company declined to comment on the layoffs.

Julie Busse, the communications manager at the Heartland Business Unit of DuPont Pioneer, confirmed the layoffs with the Rushville Republican. However, she would not reveal the number of employees who were impacted by the move. Busse specified that the Good Hope facility will focus on packaging and distribution in the future.

DuPont reached a 52-week share high of $74.22 in December 2014, according to Zacks. At the time, analysts believed that this was a result of large earnings in the nutrition and health sectors. However, they noted that the company was continuing to see weakness in its agricultural division.

DuPont Pioneer is a global leader in plant genetics, providing seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries around the world. On April 14, its Jackson Production Facility located in Jackson, Minn., received the Governor’s Workplace Safety Award. The Minnesota Safety Council awards it to facilities that go above and beyond to comply with safety and health regulations.

The Shake-up in Illinois
At the beginning of April 2015, a number of companies were profiled by the Chicago Tribune for their choices to lay off multiple employees. Companies including Tiger Direct, Randstad Staffing, Sterling National Bank and Flying Food Fare Midway all announced plans to cut their staff.

However, the biotech industry does not appear to be giving up on Illinois just yet. Baxter International , which focuses on the development of products for chronic medical conditions, announced in February 2015 that it would be establishing a headquarters in Northern Illinois.

This news came after Baxter confirmed that Baxalta Incorporated, its biopharmaceutical company, would be branching off to become its own entity. The headquarters for Baxalta was to be created in Bannockburn, Ill.

"Selecting Baxalta's global headquarters is a key milestone on our journey to becoming a leading, independent biopharmaceutical company, and reaffirms our commitment to Northern Illinois and our strong employee base here," said Ludwig Hantson, who was set to become the chief executive officer of Baxalta at the time.

BioSpace Temperature Poll
After last week's news that Gilead had issued a health advisory to doctors, concern is growing after nine patients taking Harvoni or Sovaldi along with another drug, amiodarone, were treated for abnormally slow heartbeats. One of the patients died of cardiac arrest. Three of the nine patients required a pacemaker. That has BioSpace asking, what next?

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