IBM spokesman Fred McNeese confirmed that employees today were informed that Dubuque operations would be consolidated with an IBM operation in Columbia, Mo.
Most employees at Dubuque Client Innovation Center will be offered jobs at the Missouri facility, he said.
“The employees who transfer will have the same job or a comparable job to what they have in Dubuque,” McNeese said. “For those who don’t want to move, they will get a separation package.”
These changes go into effect on Nov. 2.
A smaller number of employees will be permanently assigned to work from home or at client facilities in the Dubuque area, according to McNeese.
He said the decision to close the Dubuque facility was part of the company’s “continued review of the most efficient ways to source products and services.”
He expressed hope that IBM has left a positive mark on the community in the last 11 years.
“We value being a part of the community, and we believe we have made a contribution to Dubuque,” McNeese said.
IBM will bid farewell to Dubuque by the end of 2020, according to multiple sources.
Rick Dickinson, president and CEO of Greater Dubuque Development Corp., said his office was informed this morning that IBM intends to close its Dubuque operations by November. Employees in Dubuque would have the opportunity to relocate to an IBM facility in Columbia, Mo.
Dickinson emphasized that this information was shared during a phone call with an IBM employee and GDDC has not received anything in writing from the company. Per the phone call, IBM leaders shared the information with workers this morning.
The details shared with Dickinson matches exactly information that the Telegraph Herald received this morning from two other reliable sources.
“This would be tragic information for the employees of IBM,” Dickinson said. “We would do everything we can to keep those employees in Dubuque and keep them aware of the opportunities available here.”
Andrew Sherman, site manager at the IBM Dubuque Client Innovation Center, did not immediately return a call from the TH.
In early 2009, IBM announced its plans to open a service center in Dubuque’s Roshek Building and bring 1,300 jobs to the community. In 2009, the nonprofit group Dubuque Initiatives entered into a development agreement with the City of Dubuque whereby it would invest $39 million into the historic property.
IBM reached its job goal of 1,300 by September 2011, but that number has regularly declined in the years since. It stood at about 1,000 in 2014, about 540 in 2016 and about 400 in 2018. The company now employs 344 in Dubuque, according to a GDDC ranking of major employers in the city.
The potential departure comes at a time when major changes are taking hold at the Roshek Building.
In November, Heartland Financial USA and Cottingham & Butler announced plans to buy the building from Dubuque Initiatives. Both companies said at the time that they planned to expand their footprint within the building.
This story will be updated.