Following is Economic Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill’s statement concerning the closure announced 7-15-15 of Bunge Oils in Bradley:
The Economic Alliance is disappointed to learn of the impending closure of Bunge Oils in Bradley, a long-standing member of Kankakee County’s thriving food processing sector. We understand that this is a market-driven closure that will involve consolidation of Bradley’s operations to other Bunge sites.
Our office has enjoyed working closely with the facility’s various plant managers and has been impressed with recent investments at the site, including a new warehousing facility and margarine line, as well as the Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center culinary kitchen in 2010. Local Bunge Oils officials also have actively participated in discussions involving the proposed extension of Industrial Drive, which has been beneficial to moving that important project forward.
We are confident, considering the robust growth of Kankakee County’s industrial sector, that Bunge Oils’ 200 employees will be readily absorbed by our local base of manufacturers. To that end, the Alliance will work with its partners at the Grundy, Livingston & Kankakee Workforce Board to disburse worker retraining resources. The Alliance office also will collaborate with our local and regional real estate partners to market the property as it is vacated. With industrial space at a premium in our county, we anticipate considerable interest in the site.
The Alliance office will remain in communication with corporate officials to determine whether options remain for retaining any Bunge Oils operations in Kankakee County.
Read Bunge Oils official news release here.