Former Western Electric Plant

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Former Western Electric Plant

Postby eomaha » Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:13 pm

Some bad news.

Omaha World Herald wrote:Central States to cut 70 in reorganization

Central States Health & Life Co. of Omaha said Thursday it will lay off more than 70 workers in the next six months as part of a reorganization plan.

The Omaha insurance company will stop marketing its supplemental health insurance products, including its Medicare supplement, cancer, critical illness and accident policies.

Workers in the company's marketing and support operations will be affected, according to a statement from Dick Kizer, chairman and president of Central States Health & Life.

The move follows the company's decision five years ago to exit the major medical insurance market, Kizer said in an interview.

The move will allow the company to emphasize its core credit protection products, including credit insurance and debt cancellation products, he said.

"We have a real market expertise and niche with the credit protection operations. Those are markets that we have been strong in for probably decades . . . With supplemental health products, a company our size couldn't effectively compete without provider networks around the country," Kizer said.

The company employs 320 workers.

Kizer said the company could add 20 to 30 workers over the next several years as it expands in the community bank and independent auto dealer markets, he said.

The company will continue to serve customers who already own supplemental medical insurance policies, he said.



Omaha World Herald wrote:Nearly 200 get notices at local factory

Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing Inc. cut nearly 200 workers at its telephone cabinets and cable factory in Omaha.

About 157 union-represented workers and 42 management positions were eliminated, according to union leaders and Traci Henry, a company spokeswoman.

The cuts reduce the plant work force from 1,000 to 800 employees.

The company said the move was part of the company's strategy to streamline operations and consolidate equipment and jobs.

"We play against some big players globally, and for us to remain competitive it's important we do what we did from a cost-efficiency standpoint," Henry said.

The cuts are the second since North Carolina's CommScope Inc. purchased the plant from Avaya Inc. in January. The company eliminated about 45 management positions in March.

The workers, represented by Local 1974 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, will receive a 30-day severance package, Henry said. Their last day was Thursday.

Managers will work through the end of the year, she said. The cuts affected managers at all levels of the company.

Union president Bernie Stopak lamented the job losses but said keeping the factory viable was important.

"We have the potential to keep this place open and to keep this place going and even to grow in the future. I don't like to see anybody lose their job . . . but if you're bleeding, you've got to stop the bleeding to get healthy," he said.

The union also negotiated retirements for about 22 employees who otherwise would have lost their jobs, Stopak said.

"We've lost a lot of people, but we have a lot of potential. We have a new parent company for the first time that actually bought us and wanted manufacturing in the U.S.," he said.

An employee who spoke on the condition that his name not be used said some managers had indicated that further cuts might occur.

Stopak acknowledged that further cuts could be possible if telecommunications sales don't rebound, but he remained optimistic that some of the workers might be recalled if business improves.

Another worker, who also spoke on the condition that her name not be used, said laid-off workers don't expect to be recalled. Many workers fear that the plant ultimately will close, she said, noting that operations are being centralized into a single building.

The employees said Comm-Scope managers told them the company has placed or plans to place three nearby buildings - a warehouse, an office building and a manufacturing facility - on the market.

Phil Armstrong, a CommScope spokesman in Hickory, N.C., said that the Omaha facility complements the company's other operations and that the layoffs and consolidation plans are part of a long-term effort to make the company operate more efficiently.

Nearly 8,000 people worked at the plant when Western Electric operated it in 1970.

The factory became part of Lucent Technologies in 1996 following the AT&T spinoff of its telephone equipment operations. Avaya Inc. bought the plant from Lucent in 2000 and then sold the plant to CommScope earlier this year.
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Postby projectman » Fri Nov 12, 2004 8:08 am

Unfortunate for those workers;  especially this time of year.
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Postby Sodak » Fri Nov 12, 2004 11:21 am

I'm getting the sense that barring a significant upturn, that Connectivity Solutions is not going to make it.  If so, the city will be faced with another Vickers Plant dilemma, i.e. a developer proposing to redevelop by having the City declare the site blighted and substandard.  This would allow the devloper to utilize tax increment financing to redevelop it.

Such a situation would be exponentially more controversial than the Vickers project, given the west location of the plant (120th).  There would also be a lot of politics on the city council regarding such a proposal if things continue to go south at the Plant.  

This is the same dilemma a developer looking at developing Millard Town Center would have.   It is cost prohibitive to redevelop downtown Millard given the age of the sewers, etc. and for all intents and purposes it is 100 years old or older.  Tax increment financing would be crucial.  But it is surrounded by suburban wealth and certain members of the Council would never vote to approve it.
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Connectivity Solutions plant continues to dwindle

Postby eomaha » Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:50 pm

(what many of us still think of as the 'Western Electric' plant)

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=46& ... nd=7053334

185 more workers will be let go... apparently all that remains is a division manufacturing electronic component cabinets... which "may absorb some" of those being laid off.  I suspect this will be an empty plant within the decade.
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Postby lonnie » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:58 pm

jhuston wrote:(what many of us still think of as the 'Western Electric' plant)
...I suspect this will be an empty plant within the decade.

Jeff,
42 acres and 410,000 warehouse has been sold, correct?

The buyer/use is not known.

"     Additional real estate at the Omaha site will become unoccupied as a
result of the consolidation and is available for sale or lease.  As announced
in June 2005 as part of the previous initiatives, CSMI entered into an
agreement to sell a vacant 410,000-sq. ft. warehouse and approximately
42 acres at the CSMI manufacturing facility in Omaha.  The sales price for the
building and land is $10,500,000.  Closing is expected in 2006 and is subject
to customary closing conditions."
http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stori ... 654&EDATE=
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Postby Admin » Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:29 pm

Thanks for sharing this press release here lonnie.

Although I'm confused.  Is this saying the plant is available for sale... or if it has been sold or both.  ARE they closing in 2006?  or are they expecting to close in 2006?
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Postby skibum21 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:07 am

The Connectivity Solutions facility consists of several buildings.  All but one are for sale, only the warehouse has been sold.  There have been offers on the other buildings.  Remaining operations will continue in the building not for sale.
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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:24 pm

So that would make this the, what, fourth time this campus of buildings has changed hands in the past 15 years or so? Western Electric to AT&T to Avaya to Connectivity Solutions to whoever buys it now if I remember correctly. That's seems lilke a lot for such a large amount of property.
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Postby Brad » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:05 pm

End of an Era...

Plant closing to cost 400 jobs

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100331/N ... t-400-jobs

Jeffrey Robb
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:
The Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing plant in Millard will close, causing about 400 manufacturing employees left at the sprawling facility to lose their jobs, the plant's parent company announced this morning.

CommScope Inc., a Hickory, N.C.-based company that makes communications network equipment, announced that the layoffs will start in April and that the plant will cease operations in late 2011.

The plant, which opened in 1958 and formerly went by the names Western Electric and Avaya, among others, employed 7, 700 people at its peak. The plant helped to transform Millard from a small village to a large town.
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Postby cdub » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:04 am

I almost wish this would have happened sooner so the ground could have been sold before being chopped into a dozen pieces.
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Postby Brad » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:58 am

Millard landmark to close

http://www.omaha.com/article/20110609/N ... k-to-close

Erin Golden
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:
Buelt said company officials have said the end date will be sometime between July 1 and July 15. For now, the remaining employees are working, building cabinets that hold electrical equipment for communications systems. They just got a big order from areas hit hard by flooding, Buelt said.
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Postby HuskerDave » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:00 am

I'm glad this is getting some press.  Without Western Electric choosing to build this plant in Omaha in the 1960s, Omaha would not be the great city it is today.
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Postby Bosco55David » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:46 pm

That's a shame.
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Postby OmahaJaysCU » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:47 pm

Bosco55David wrote:That's a shame.


They made parts for land line telephones.  Businesses either are growing or dying.  They should have adapted.
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Postby Bosco55David » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:00 pm

I know what they did. Both my parents worked at that plant at some point in their lives.  :;):

That said, regardless of the reasons for the closing it's still sad that more jobs are being lost and something that was so vital to the city's economy at one point is now closing it's doors.
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Postby OmahaJaysCU » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:17 pm

Bosco55David wrote:I know what they did. Both my parents worked at that plant at some point in their lives.  :;):

That said, regardless of the reasons for the closing it's still sad that more jobs are being lost and something that was so vital to the city's economy at one point is now closing it's doors.


Well to try and put positive spin on it, you've now got what, 1,000,000 sf of vacant space for someone else to potentially use?
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Postby Omababe » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:47 am

OmahaJaysCU wrote:Well to try and put positive spin on it, you've now got what, 1,000,000 sf of vacant space for someone else to potentially use?


Yeah, like parking for Home Depot and Wally World and such?
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