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Layoffs planned at Columbia IBM branch

ABC 17 News confirmed Wednesday layoffs are planned at International Business Machines, also known as IBM.

This is the 3rd time since June 2013 that the Union Alliance at IBM has said there were layoffs, but Wednesday was the first time the company has confirmed layoff information to ABC 17 directly.

IBM is being tight-lipped over the whole situation. The company said it announced last year it was doing $600 million in what the company is calling “rebalancing.”

ABC 17 has been working to find out how many cuts were made at the Columbia location.

We contacted the Missouri Department of Economic Development as well as the Regional Economic Development Incorporated, also known as REDI. The state has not returned our calls, and a spokesman for REDI said the Columbia location has requested they not give out numbers, but instead contact corporate.

Back in 2010, IBM promised to create 800 jobs at the Columbia facility. In exchange for those jobs, the state would offer more than $28 million in incentives.

The City of Columbia paid more than $3 million for the building, and is leasing it to IBM for $1 per year.

A spokesman for IBM provided ABC 17 News with a statement regarding the layoffs.

“IBM is aggressively positioning itself for continued leadership in cloud, analytics, mobile, security, social and cognitive computing, and we are investing in and staffing these priority areas.

The statement said, “This means realigning our client teams to provide an optimal mix of skills, so that we can continue to improve service levels, enhance productivity and keep our clients well positioned for the future.

We continue to hire and develop key skills in the U.S. In fact, we currently have approximately 15,000 open positions, nearly half of which support the growing areas of our business.

Stay with ABC 17 News for the latest on this developing story.

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