GE Confirms January Departure From Fort Wayne (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

March 28, 2014 Updated Apr 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - General Electric will end all operations in Fort Wayne next year, company officials announced Friday.

GE released a statement saying the company would "move ahead" in its decision to close the the downtown plant, 1030 Swinney Ave., and its executive center suite, 3400 E. Coliseum Blvd. The phase out will begin Jan. 27, 2015.

The company also plans to consolidate its commercial operations, technologies and lab into a manufacturing hub in Monterrey, Mexico.

The decision to close the Fort Wayne facilities was made after GE spent the past 60 days mulling union proposals.

"We answered the union leadership's questions and described Fort Wayne's difficult competitive situation," the statement red. "The proposals submitted by the unions fell well short of the savings and efficiencies that would be generated by the proposed actions."

"Whenever an employer looks to leave our community, it's a concern to us and the employees who will be affected by the decision. GE has expressed a willingness to continue to communicate with the City to discuss the plans they might have for the future of their property," John Perlich, spokesman for the City of Fort Wayne, said in a statement.

In all, 90 employees (28 at the downtown plant and 62 at the executive center) will lose their jobs, and Fort Wayne will lose a part of its history that dates back more than a century.

At one time, 10,000 people worked for GE in Fort Wayne.

"Any action that affects people's lives and livelihood is a serious matter," the statement said. "Affected employees will receive
comprehensive severance packages that include outplacement services, compensation based on
years of service and other benefits."

GE intends to work with the City of Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Economic Development Alliance on the future 32-acre, 13-building, 102-year-old downtown complex, the release says.

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