NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (WBBM) — Officials in Lake County are trying to figure out how to help about 1,000 area residents, who are among 1,000 employees that North Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories is laying off to protect profits.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, the way Lake County Board Chairman David Stolman sees it, the Abbott Labs employees are family.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

“It’s a hard position to be in, and right, now people are afraid,” Stolman said.

Stolman had been feeling a little better about the economy, based on a meeting with a Federal Reserve board member.

“You know, hold the water, hold your powder, things are getting better,” Stolman said.

But that was the day before the Abbott news broke.

“When word comes out that our government thinks things are getting a little better and then all of a sudden you see a company the size of Abbott laying off 1,000 people in one small community, that’s major,” Stolman said.

And the impact can be wide-ranging.

“Everything else suffers from that,” Stolman said.

He said the move would affect the taxes, housing and local businesses.

“Without the jobs, obviously, people pull back,” Stolman said. “Again, it hurts when things happen like this.”