IBM workers look forward after layoffs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

IBM workers look forward after layoffs

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

"Yeah it was a bad day. First reaction is you've got to go home, and you've got to tell your family," says Cory Hinton.

Hinton is a longtime employee of IBM now facing his first job search in nearly two decades.

"Almost 18 years -- 17 good years," he says. "It's a little bit disappointing and little insulting, but then you get over it and you go look for a job."

And the 35 people who showed Saturday morning to the Department of Labor's Rapid Response session at the Sheraton were looking ahead to a new future.

"Their everyday routine is going to be disrupted. And it's very emotional. They don't know what the next step is. They're scared -- angry -- and frustrated. And they just need time to grieve," says Barbara Smith with the Vermont Department of Labor.

"You miss your friends. You miss the people you work with for 17 years," says Hinton.

The department would not tell us which companies have already approached them about hiring IBM workers, but it says there are at least 15, and they'll try to match people to open jobs. The question for many is whether those jobs will be comparable to what they lost.

"Some of them are. And some of them are certainly not at that level. But we feel that people can get into positions and move up through the ranks because they're very interested and motivated employees," says Vermont Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan.

And Hinton says he's leaving the company better-prepared for the next step in his career.

"IBM took really good care of me," he says. "They helped me to get my bachelor's degree and move into a professional position."

Hinton says isn't leaving the state though. He says his next job will be here. Now he just needs to find one.

"I'm capable of finding a job and I'm going to go do that," he says. "It's not like you've lost a major limb, like some of the folks who are serving our country right now, who are coming back quite broken. We're not really broken, we're just a little bit sad."

Saturday's session was one of many the Department of Labor is holding. They told us IBM doesn't have to release the final tally for layoffs until mid-July, when the workers have their final days on the job, but hundreds have already showed up to these sessions. And the department will be at IBM this coming week to talk to more workers there.

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