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IBM said to be shedding jobs in Vermont, elsewhere

ESSEX, Vt. (AP) -- State officials said Wednesday that IBM Corp. had notified them that a national reorganization would result in job losses in Vermont. The company said it would not comment on the report.

IBM spokesman Jeff Couture said in a statement that "some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans."

Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement released by his office, "We heard from IBM today that sites around the United States, including the Essex facility, will be notified of a workforce reorganization that will result in layoffs. I am always concerned when we learn that Vermonters face job losses."

Shumlin spokeswoman Susan Allen said the company had not told the governor's office how many layoffs were contemplated in Vermont.

The labor organization Alliance @ IBM said on its website that 121 jobs were expected to be cut from the company's storage systems development division. The website contained individual reports of layoffs in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina.

Couture said IBM does not provide employee totals for individual facilities. Vermont Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said the company had slightly more than 4,000 workers in Vermont as of Wednesday morning. She said she did not know how many were being laid off.

Noonan said her department is ready to work with laid off IBM employees to ensure they can get unemployment benefits and to help them find other jobs.

Noonan says that with Vermont's third-lowest-in the country unemployment rate, and with many companies looking for technically skilled workers, she's hopeful the IBM workers will find new jobs.