If you’re looking for a job, the IBM plant in Essex could be looking for you. On Thursday, the Vermont Department of Labor is holding a job fair in Burlington for IBM.
The company is hiring for about 100 positions that will later be transferred over to GlobalFoundries, the company that’s set to take over IBM’s chip-making division once the deal is finalized. But exactly how long will these jobs stay in Vermont?
According to Gov. Peter Shumlin, there's no way to know for sure.
"No company can tell you they're going be there 10 years down the road – IBM, GlobalFoundries or anybody else," Shumlin said in an interview Wednesday. "In this particular economic environment … it's a growing market. The reason they're hiring is because there's a lot of demand, and GlobalFoundries is committed to being number one in this business. So it's good news for Vermont that we have a company who really wants to be innovative at making chips, and I think our future is a bright one."
Still, Shumlin said he is committed to keeping the jobs here in the Green Mountain state.
"Let me be clear: I am no more concerned about GlobalFoundries staying in Vermont than any other business. All of my conversations with the CEO, to everyone on down, have indicated that they're committed to Vermont ... So, I really am confident that this is a great transition for Vermont, from an employer that's been good to this state for many, many years, to an employer that's going be good to this state for many, many years."
Shumlin expanded on the job opportunities at IBM and the labor market statewide.
On why people should want to take an IBM job that will later be transferred to GlobalFoundries
"It's an opportunity to work for a chip manufacturing company that is, under GlobalFoundries' leadership – assuming that the sale's approved – committed to being the chip-maker of the world."
On whether tiny Vermont can compete for business attraction with bigger states that have more money
Vermont should continue to focus on early childhood education and on job training for students after high school in order to grow the state's high-tech workforce, Shumlin said. He added: "Why do we beat ourselves so heavily on all that we do wrong, when we're doing a lot right? And the evidence is in the numbers. There are lots of states in America that would kill to have the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the country."
On whether Vermont should cut regulations/taxes in order to attract businesses
Shumlin defended the state's tax incentive programs for businesses, saying they're tied directly to an uptick in the number of jobs here. "And the point is, if you want a job, we've got it in Vermont. We need not only everyone in Vermont in the workforce – when you get down to 3.8 percent [unemployment], you know, you don't have a big pool to hire from – but we need folks from out of state coming in to help do the work that we've got."