In Minnesota on Sunday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump added IBM to the list of companies he criticizes for moving jobs offshore or to Mexico. Trump’s line was a one sentence throwaway at the Twin Cities rally, but it may have resonated with this rally crowd.
In Rochester, Minn., IBM created a massive operation. In 1956, it broke ground on what would become a 32-building, 3.5-million-square-foot complex that employed 8,100 workers at its peak in 1991. It made punch card systems and later became widely known for its AS/400 system development work.
IBM created a stable workforce, and by 1988 was able to point out that the average Rochester employee was 39.5 years old and a 14-year IBM veteran. Nearly 40% of those workers were engineers or programmers, according to IBM’s official history.