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IBM Laying Off Workers At Beaverton Mortgage Division

OPB | Feb. 27, 2014 9:36 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 28, 2014 9:53 a.m. | Portland

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IBM is relocating or laying off some its employees in Beaverton, according to two anonymous sources. The positions at stake were part of an IBM fully owned subsidiary, Seterus, which handles mortgages for clients like banks.  

IBM is better known for manufacturing computers and designing software, but in 2010, IBM acquired a Beaverton mortgage business, Wilshire Credit Corporation, from Bank of America.

According to document leaked to OPB, in late January Seterus told a significant number of employees they were being laid off or relocated. IBM recently announced a 1 billion dollar restructuring, and an IBM confirmed layoffs this week in New York, Vermont, and Iowa among other states.

IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino said the action in Beaverton is unrelated. She said, “This action is separate from that. It was decided earlier in the year. It was specific to the mortgage business.” She would not say how many employees were affected, and said IBM does not comment on staffing decisions.

City of Beaverton spokeswoman Holly Thompson said the mayor had not been informed of any layoffs or relocations at Seterus. In May 2010, the state of Oregon, the city of Beaverton, and the city of Salem collaborated to put together a workforce training fund to help attract IBM and retain Wilshire jobs in Oregon. Hunter says Beaverton contributed $49,500 to the training fund, and said that Seterus has met its contractual obligation to the city.

For that agreement, Seterus was going to retain 710 employees within the city of Beaverton and add 53 new jobs, for a two-year commitment. That was met, and in fact they added 510 jobs during that period,” she said.

Business Oregon, the state economic development agency, contributed $100,000 to the fund, according to spokesman Nathan Buehler. Other state agencies may also have contributed to the training fund. Buehler was uncertain whether Seterus had fulfilled its contract with the state.

They have 4 years to meet the requirements, which were 600 new full time employees and 900 retained in Beaverton and Salem,” Buehler said.

IBM is headquartered in Armonk, New York and employs more than 400,000 people worldwide.

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