Westlake Village Unit of IBM Moving to Colorado

Times Staff Writer

IBM will move its 450-employee Westlake Village operation to larger facilities in Boulder, Colo., beginning in October because the business needs more room to grow, the company announced Thursday.

The company said it will offer jobs in Boulder to all of its Westlake Village employees and will cover relocation expenses for those who move. An IBM spokeswoman declined to say how many workers are expected to relocate by the time the Westlake Village office, part of the company's federal systems division, closes at the end of 1987.

IBM's federal systems unit, based in Bethesda, Md., specializes in making computer equipment and software for government agencies, primarily NASA and the Defense Department.

The company spokeswoman declined to discuss the nature of the work done by the IBM unit in Westlake Village, explaining that its operations are classified.

IBM has had operations in Westlake Village for the last 18 years, and the current 156,000-square-foot facility, located at 2625 Townsgate Road, is one of six operations nationwide making up the federal systems division.

John Jones, an analyst with Montgomery Securities in San Francisco, said the division is one of IBM's fastest-growing businesses. He projected revenue for the division of about $2.5 billion this year, up from slightly more than $2 billion in 1985 and $858 million in 1982. Jones said the growth has been fueled in part by an expansion into non-government jobs, including work on United Airlines' reservation system.

IBM has about 5,000 employees in 15 buildings in Boulder, where it makes copiers and printers and runs a large product development laboratory. IBM said an advantage of the Colorado site is that it is owned by the company and thus offers services that the leased facility in Westlake Village lacks.

Room for the Westlake Village unit is being created by the relocation from Boulder of a laser printer manufacturing operation to North Carolina and a plastics manufacturing operation to Kentucky.

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