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, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>