Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sanmina-SCI plant in Fountain has checkered past

Sanmina-SCI's announcement Sept. 14 that it's closing its electronics component manufacturing plant in Fountain (right) is a reminder of the facility's unfortunate history. Sanmina-SCI, based in San Jose, Calif., told Fountain city officials it plans to lay off 319 workers and close the plant by Dec. 31. Company officials refused comment on the closure. The plant was once used as a computer repair facility by Data General Corp., which closed the plant in 1989 and laid off 450 people. Then, Apple Computer came to town amid much fanfare in 1991 and used the facility to produce notebook computers. In 1996, Apple sold the plant to what was then SCI Systems. At the time, most of the plant's 1,050 workers were hired by SCI. What will happen to the plant now isn't known because Sanmina officials aren't talking. El Paso County land records say it's about 250,000 square feet or about one-fourth bigger than a Wal-Mart supercenter. It's at 702 Bandley Drive, just east of Fort Carson.

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