CHICAGO (CBS) — Minnesota-based General Mills announced Thursday it will be closing its West Chicago factory, due to economic issues.

The move to shutter the factory came as a surprise to many, including West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda.

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“I asked them if there was incentives that I could speak to the governor about, or at the county level, or at the West Chicago level; and they said that that really had nothing to do with it,” he said.

Nearly 500 workers are employed at the west suburban plant, which produces cereal, snacks, and dry dinners.

“They were terrific and strong performers, so it didn’t have anything to do with that,” he said. “It had to do with they can produce the product that they produce in West Chicago at other plants, and it just saves them economically.”

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Pineda said he’s now looking at ways to find jobs for the factory employees who will be out of work.

“Quite a few people from West Chicago … do work there, and they’ve managed to have quite a good life working for General Mills. We’ve got some 30- and 40-year employees there, so it does impact us quite a bit,” he said.

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Pineda said the economic impact on West Chicago is not yet clear.