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Jennifer DeWitt

With hundreds of workers at Deere & Co.'s Quad-City manufacturing plants nearing retirement, the search is on for new employees to replace them over the next five years.

Already the Quad-Cities' largest employer, Deere officials said Monday that the company will be hiring at a rate of about 300 people a year in order to repopulate the employee ranks of its four area manufacturing plants.

"Some of this is being driven by production, but primarily it is the large number of people becoming eligible for retirement," said Andre Harrison, the manager of industrial relations at John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline.

Harrison is part of a team — made up of management, union representatives and plant employees — responsible for the massive recruitment effort under way to replenish the work force. "We saw this coming several years ago," he said, explaining that recruiting has been a long-term strategy.

More details on this story can be found in Tuesday's editions of the QUAD-CITY TIMES.

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