- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - John Deere has recently laid off hundreds of workers in the Midwest but has added jobs at its factory in Dubuque, where the company manufactures huge vehicles for construction and forestry.

Last month, the company announced the layoff of 910 workers at five locations in Iowa and Illinois, citing reduced demand for farming equipment as the reason. But John Deer Dubuque Works has added more than 100 jobs since late 2014, the Telegraph Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1J9rA77 ).

General Manager Byron Taylor said this addition brings the total number of people working at the Dubuque site to 2,500, which includes 200 contracted employees.

Taylor said the rollout of a new bulldozer model and two forestry machines, which hit the market in January, have contributed to the company’s strong growth in divisions other than farming.

“They both represent a scale of product we haven’t had in the past,” he said. “They represent a new customer segment and a new opportunity for us.”

The 94,000-pound 1050K Crawler Dozer, Deere’s largest and most powerful bulldozer, was developed in Dubuque and has allowed the company to compete in a market targeting larger construction projects, said Megan Weston, Crawlers program manager.

Product marketing manager Mark Oliver said the bulldozer is particularly ideal for road building, mining and piping in the energy sector.

In addition to the 1050K, Deere has introduced two new machines designed to cut standing trees and pile them into bunches. Jonathan Hunt, manager of product engineering, said the new models come at a time when demand for safe, efficient forestry equipment has increased. He also said the mid-size machines represent “the voice of our customer.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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