IBM / Vermont Historical Society

With the announcement Monday morning that IBM is offloading its chip division, including its plant in Essex Junction, to the California-based semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries, we sifted through the archives to find photographs of the plant's early days, IBM products at use in Vermont and beyond, and the shifting fortunes of the company and its local employees through the years.

Here's what the approach to the Essex plant looked like in 1958:

Toby Talbot / AP File Photo

IBM’s chip division, including the plant in Essex Junction will be sold to GlobalFoundries, in a deal announced Monday morning.

A deal between the two companies has been rumored for months, but Monday's announcement was the first official confirmation from either company that a deal had been in the works. GlobalFoundries is a semiconductor manufacturer based in Santa Clara, California.

The company rumored to be on the verge of buying IBM’s chip manufacturing business announced Thursday that it has hired a former senior plant executive at an IBM facility in East Fishkill, New York.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Business officials in Chittenden County are calling on Gov. Peter Shumlin to allocate $4.5 million to IBM to avert a sale of the company’s Essex Junction chip making facility.

But Shumlin says it’s too early to release money from the newly created job-retention fund. And he’s left open the door to using the money for purposes other than retaining the approximately 4,000 jobs at the IBM facility.

“I think the good news is that this fund gives the governor and legislative leadership the authority to be flexible, and that’s exactly what we need,” Shumlin said.

Toby Talbot / AP File Photo

With reports that IBM may soon sell its chip manufacturing division, Vermont officials and a local commerce group are getting ready to try to keep the division’s jobs in Vermont.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has been reading the widespread reports in the financial press that IBM is going to sell its chip manufacturing division, and he’s concerned.

The division employs more than 4,000 Vermonters at its Essex Junction Plant, and there’s no guarantee that a new buyer would keep that plant open.

But Shumlin is hoping to help the odds.

With the state on what he calls “heightened alert” over the future of IBM’s chip manufacturing plant in Essex Junction, Gov. Peter Shumlin today said he’s prepared to “do whatever it takes” in the fight to preserve the more than 4,000 jobs at stake.

Shumlin’s comments came in advance of a press conference scheduled for later Monday in which the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation is set to unveil a slate of interventions it thinks will help secure the future of the plant.

McQuiston: IBM in VT

Mar 14, 2014

The other day, I was talking with a recently retired engineer from IBM. He had worked at the Essex Junction plant for the better part of his career and was happy he didn’t have to worry about the seemingly constant chatter about the future of the Vermont plant and, indeed, the future of IBM itself. In contrast to current IBM employees, he didn’t seem very concerned. Granted he’s retired, but still…

Sen. Bernie Sanders says more than 300 IBM workers laid off last year at the company’s Vermont facilities are eligible for additional training and employment services.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance is available to workers the U.S. Department of Labor considers displaced by foreign competition or because jobs were moved overseas.

Previously 115 workers who were part of the same round of layoffs had been deemed eligible for the benefits, but the state subsequently requested that all of the former IBM employees qualify for the benefits.

Toby Talbot / AP

Gov. Peter Shumlin said he received word from IBM officials that layoffs occurred Thursday at the company's Essex Junction plant.

Shumlin said in a statement that he was told the number of jobs eliminated is "about one-third" the number in the last round of layoffs at the facility, which would indicate about 140 employees are being let go. 

Update: Gov. Peter Shumlin confirmed Thursday that layoffs are taking place at IBM in Vermont.

A union group says it expects layoffs Wednesday at IBM’s Essex Junction facility.

Big Blue indicated earlier this year that layoffs were likely as a result of declining company profits.

Lee Conrad with Alliance at IBM said on Tuesday that the group is hearing that employees at IBM facilities in New York state and in Vermont will receive termination notices Wednesday.