Three weeks after it abruptly informed city leaders that it will be closing two plants in Columbus and eliminating more than 1,000 jobs, NCR Corp. has filed an official notice with the state of Georgia of its plans. It gives specific dates for when employees will lose their jobs and earn their final paychecks.
Atlanta-based NCR submitted its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice to the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division.
Federal regulations under the WARN Act of 1988, in general, mandate that employers give affected staff in plant closures and mass layoffs a notice of at least 60 days.
In Columbus, NCR said in its filing that the WARN date for its facility at 1 Corporate Ridge Parkway is June 24, while the date for its plant at 6000 Technology Parkway is July 27.
That means the Corporate Ridge Business Park location, which employs 255 people, will be paying staffers through at least Aug. 22. The 94 workers earning a paycheck at Muscogee Technology Park will be paid until at least Sept. 24.
When it disclosed the plant closures in April, NCR said it also was using 679 contract, or temporary staffing agency workers, in Columbus. That would bring its total local workforce number to 1,038, although the temporary contract employees are not entitled to a WARN notice.
The Georgia Department of Labor will be assisting the displaced Columbus workers with unemployment benefits and with their search for another job. The Columbus metro area’s unemployment rate in March was 4.8 percent, the state agency said, which was down from 5.3 percent in February.
Columbus economic development officials also expect to help NCR market its closed facilities in the coming months to prospective companies. NCR has a 340,000-square-foot facility in Corporate Ridge Business Park and a 100,000-square-foot facility in Muscogee Technology Park.
“We’re kind of in a wait-and-see mode at the moment, but that’s not to say that we’re not continually focused on it,” Brian Sillitto, executive vice president of economic development with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday. He said discussions with NCR about the properties have yet to be scheduled as the firm continues to operate the facilities.
“I could envision that we would be showing them to prospects after they vacate, which is not going to be until some time in the fall,” he said.
NCR, which has about 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries, has been in Columbus since 2009. That’s when the firm relocated its headquarters from its founding home of Dayton, Ohio, to the suburbs of Atlanta.
The Columbus workforce has assembled automated teller machine (ATM) and point-of-sale equipment through the years. The company said it is trying to focus more on software-related revenues than hardware products such as ATMs amid the evolving digital age.