IBM Still Present in the Community
Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Town of Union has dedicated June 16th as IBM Day, in celebration of it's centennial. Once Endicott's largest employer and tax payer, many reflect on when Big Blue was big in the community. "It's kind of sad, you look back and a lot of my friends and I went to school from Endicott, walked to one end and then at the other end at North Street went to work at IBM and I talk to them now and they realize how good they had it," says Jack Cheevers, former Town of Union Supervisor. Cheevers is an IBM stockholder. He says recently it has done extremely well and has potential for growth. Others remember what IBM has left behind for the community. "Thomas J Watson donated the land for Highland Park. There's a veterans monument at Highland Park dedicated to the former employees of IBM, the remnants of IBM. Maybe its not as large as it once was but the commitment to our area for so many years is pretty fascinating," says Town of Union Supervisor, John Bernardo. IBMers have not completely moved out of the area. They still work in the very buildings where it all began. They say they even have open positions available right now in Endicott. Supervisor Bernardo estimates around one thousand people still work for IBM in Endicott. "Yesterday they did some work at Highland Park, cleaning up the entrance way and cleaning up were the memorial is," says Bernardo. Last year IBM employees contributed more than three hundred thousand dollars to local charities. The Huron Campus now owns most of the old IBM buildings along North Street, but a few still remain empty. "The wish is that we can work together to help eliminate those buildings," says Mayor of Endicott, John Bertoni. Many understand IBM will never bring back the jobs and economic growth it supported, but hope the company continues their commitment to the community. Currently in Endicott, IBM employees are working on circuit designs for gaming systems as well as intellectual property patents.