Black beans for burritos, sliced pickles for paninis. Workers at Firebird Café prepared for the lunch crowd Wednesday. Many diners at the Essex Junction eatery are IBM employees.
"So, yeah, I'm concerned," owner Jake Tran said. "That segment of my customer base will drop."
News of layoffs at Big Blue not only has Jake Tran worried about his restaurant's bottom line, but what it means for his community, too.
"They're not just customers," he said. "We have developed relationships with these people. We are on a first name basis with these folks."
"It's not a good day for the Vermont economy and certainly a terrible day for the families effected," Vermont economist Jeff Carr said.
Carr crunched the numbers. His report shows for every 100 jobs lost at IBM, an additional 124 jobs are lost elsewhere in the state. And the ripple effect extends beyond vendors and suppliers in Vermont.
"Clothes, movies, cars, making the mortgage payment, being able to afford a house, paying property taxes," Carr said. "But also a wide variety of business, amusement and recreation, and movie theaters, places where people buy clothes, places where people buy food. Losing jobs in a high-paying manufacturing sector is not a good thing for the economy."
The Vermont Department of Labor says it wasn't caught off guard by the job cuts. It's been preparing since rumors started circulating weeks ago, mobilizing for a large-scale layoff.
But on Sunday's "You Can Quote Me," Vermont Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller told us he didn't think more than 100 would be let go.
"If it were larger than that, I'd be surprised," Miller said. "But I don't know it's going to happen at all."
Now it's a reality, with some sources saying the number of job cuts is actually in the hundreds, leaving many in the community wondering if it's a recipe for more cuts.
"It's not an easy feeling," Tran said.
IBM is still one of the largest employers in the state. But layoffs are nothing new there. Since 2001, the company has reduced its workforce by more than half, from a high of 8,500 employees to about 4,000 before Wednesday's job cuts.
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:26 PM EST2014-03-08 00:26:37 GMT
A threat canceled all after-school activities in the Colchester School District Friday. The superintendent sent out an alert to parents saying even with enhanced security measures, the district considersMore >>
A threat canceled all after-school activities in the Colchester School District Friday.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 10:42 AM EST2014-03-07 15:42:34 GMT
The state of Vermont released new evidence in hopes of keeping a Manchester woman behind bars. Fifty-year-old Patricia Kane was arrested on charges of interfering with the custody of a minor in January.More >>
The state of Vermont released new evidence in hopes of keeping a Manchester woman behind bars.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 6:48 PM EST2014-03-07 23:48:25 GMT
Rutland police say they've caught a man who robbed a woman at knifepoint Friday morning. They say at about 8 a.m., the woman was walking on Grove Street when Robert Van Driel, 25, brandished a knife andMore >>
Rutland police say they've caught a man who robbed a woman at knifepoint Friday.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:19 PM EST2014-03-08 00:19:47 GMT
A scare for a homeowner in Burlington Friday afternoon who walked in on a burglary. Police say the woman found a man inside her house on North Avenue. He ran off. He's described as a younger white man,More >>
A scare for a homeowner in Burlington Friday afternoon who walked in on a burglary.More >>