Rochester IBM production heading to Mexico, N.Y.

IBM tradeshow
Visitors walk past the IBM logo at the CeBIT Technology Fair on March 3, 2010 in Hanover, Germany.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

IBM announced it will move most of the production taking place at its Rochester campus to Mexico and New York state, according to the Associated Press:

IBM spokesman Scott Cook says manufacturing of its Power Systems, PureSystems and PureFlex Systems servers will be moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. Refurbishing of used IBM machines will be moved to Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Cook won't say how many jobs will be lost in Rochester when the manufacturing shift is complete next year.

Speaking by phone with The Daily Circuit, state Rep. Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, said the "good news" is that IBM is not looking at "mass layoffs." She said she had been informed that the number of layoffs would not trigger a reporting requirement under the WARN Act. She interpreted that to mean the layoffs would not exceed 200, out of a Rochester IBM workforce of about 4,400. Norton pointed out that IBM planned to keep its existing research and development operations in Rochester, another good sign.

Also by phone, Prof. Alfred Marcus of the University of Minnesota pointed out that despite the job losses, Rochester continues to have a "very vibrant economy," though "not as diversified as it should be." He described IBM as working in an "incredibly competitive place."

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