The IBM plant in Essex Junction, which was once the states largest private employer, is laying off 180 employees. 110 of the positions are being eliminated, along with 70 long-term supplemental positions. The state is activating their rapid response system to help the layed-off employees find new jobs. In a released statement Governor Douglas said, To those at IBM who have lost jobs, and other Vermonters who have experienced the same challenge, we will continue to help you with all the tools we have available. Layoffs punctuate the importance of doing all we can in Montpelier to make Vermont a welcoming and supportive place to do business. My administration respects the role that every employer plays in ensuring the economic security and prosperity of our families. IBM currently employs 5,500 in Vermont.