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Robert Trigaux

Ex-Jabil Circuit plant in Idaho reborn as university health science facility



Idahostatemeridianhealthcarecenterexjabil Wake up and good morning. Good news on the new use of a former Jabil Circuit plant in Idaho that had been closed for lack of demand for its products.

The ex-telecom equipment factory in southwest Idaho was left deserted amid the high-tech meltdown of the early 2000s, AP reports. It re-opens next week as the new Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center.

Jabil Circuit, based in St. Petersburg, close its Meridian, Idaho, manufacturing plantin late 2002 and laid off 500 workers. Demand for Jabil's telecommunications and networking products at the time had dwindled and Jabil targeted the Idaho plant for closure because of performance issues.

Talk about that was then and this is now. Back in 2002, Jabil boasted about 17,000 workers worldwide. It's closer to 5 times that now.

The new Idaho facility will begin holding fall classes starting Tuesday for students offering distance-learning classrooms, community clinics, laboratories and room for more than 20 health science graduate and undergraduate programs.

Jabil began its Idaho operations in August of 1998 when the company acquired the assets of Hewlett-Packard's LaserJet Solutions Group Formatter Manufacturing Organization (FMO). As part of that deal, Jabil purchased the printed-circuit assembly assets of the FMO operations in Boise, Idaho and Bergamo, Italy. Operations at the Boise plant were moved to the current plant in Meridian.

Now the facility is reborn again. Nice to see quality reinventions like this one.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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