A round of layoffs announced in July is wrapping up at Hewlett Packard’s Conway facility.
The company announced in July that 500 jobs would be cut in Conway. The dismissals were phased in, with some employees dismissed immediately and others given a few more months.
A HP Global Media Relations spokesperson said on Monday that employees laid off this month were among the 500 notified in July that they’d be leaving, but also said that she couldn’t speak to how the layoffs at Conway’s HP facility were being structured other than to say that "there are no other planned actions for [HP] employees at Conway offices."
Officials with City Hall and the Conway Development Corp, which was instrumental in attracting HP to Conway, say on Monday that they understand that this would be the last — or some of the last — of the layoffs announced in July.
The layoffs were part of a global "restructuring" announced by HP in 2012, in which the company planned to cut 9,000 positions in America in an effort to stabilize declining revenues. HP CEO Meg Whitman told the media earlier this month that after 2014, HP would "not do another big restructuring."
Mayor Tab Townsell said in July that the loss of 500 skilled, well-paid positions would have a "profound" effect locally, and said on Monday that the layoffs had almost certainly had an impact on retail sales tax revenue and "the amount of time empty houses stay on the market," but that the exact impact was hard to calculate.
A silver lining to the layoffs can be found, according to CDC vice president Jamie Gates, in the release of a few hundred skilled workers into the local job pool, which he said "attracted the attention of a lot of companies to Conway."
"These are well-educated employees who have been vetted by the largest tech company on the planet," Gates said. "They’re all eminently employable."
CDC president Brad Lacy said that his organization was working to track how many former HP employees found jobs in Conway, but currently neither CDC nor city hall officials have firm numbers. Gates said that a job fair organized by the CDC to bring these employees and employers together resulted in "a lot of offers made right there at the fair," and speculated that many employees waiting for their employment at HP to end were also waiting to start at new jobs lined up for them.
With the 500 layoffs, HP still employs about 800 employees at its Conway facility.
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)