General Motors is closing its IT Innovation Center in Chandler, Arizona, cutting 940 jobs.
The closing came as a major shock, ChandlerNews.com reported.
This location will close on Oct. 31, according to KTVK-TV.
“Today’s announcement that GM plans to close its Arizona IT Innovation Center came as a complete surprise,” economic development director Micah Miranda said.
“We’ve recently been working with their local team about higher education partnerships, mentoring, and a promotional video highlighting Chandler’s Price Corridor. With this unfortunate news, we plan to work closely with our workforce development partners to assist with employment opportunities for those impacted,” Miranda said.
Erik Gronseth said workers were told Tuesday night there would be a 9 a.m. staff meeting the next day.
“There wasn’t too much of any forewarning of what to expect. Some of us jokingly thought maybe this was going to be along the lines of ‘meet some new coworkers,’ but it’s unfortunate that it turned out the way it did,” said Gronseth.
Gronseth is among a small number of employees not getting the ax.
“That was a bit of relief, bittersweet relief, as we knew a lot of people,” said Gronseth.
That “bittersweet relief” for these workers comes amid a generally tumultuous time, economically speaking. Many of President Brandon’s most ardent critics have been quick to blame his administration for many of these economic hardships.
Speaking of hardships, the layoffs in Arizona come after GM already cut about 200 engineers elsewhere, according to the Detroit Free Press.
GM announced the closing in a company-wide email.
“Today we announced the difficult decision to cease IDT (information and digital technology) operations at the Arizona IT Innovation Center at the end of October. This decision was not an easy one, but it will help to optimize our innovation center footprint and gain the efficiencies and effectiveness we need to have to continue to support the company,” Stacy Lynett, GM’s vice president of Information and Digital Technology, wrote.
GM representative Kevin Kelly framed the cut as not to reduce costs, but increase efficiency.
“We’re rationalizing the number of IT innovation centers we have in the country,” Kelly said.
“We’re keeping the other three. But as we look at efficiencies there were some redundancies and that’s why we decided to remove one of the centers,” he said.
The Chandler facility opened in 2014.
GM has three other IT centers — Warren, Michigan; Austin, Texas, and suburban Atlanta.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.