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Employees Of Closing Billerica Plant Share Anxieties

This article is more than 10 years old.
Bill Frake, Jabil Circuit's Billerica plant manager, took out an ad in the Boston Globe in February, asking companies to hire his employees. (Fred Thys/WBUR)
Bill Frake, Jabil Circuit's Billerica plant manager, took out an ad in the Boston Globe in February, asking companies to hire his employees. (Fred Thys/WBUR)

Earlier this year, the manager of a plant in Billerica took out an ad in the Boston Globe asking companies to hire the plant’s employees, who were about to be laid off.

Companies such as GE, IBM, Sharp, and Philips Medical contract Jabil to build circuit boards for them. With the recession, the orders stopped coming, and Linda Dunn was among the 315 employees gathered in the cafeteria on a Thursday afternoon in February when plant manager Bill Frake told them that the factory was shutting down. What stands out in her mind is how Frake handled it.
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“I think this whole shutdown has taken a real toll on all the managers,” said Dunn. “Especially Mr. Frake, ’cause the day they had to tell us that they were closing our facility was very, very impressive, and you had a man stand up that had to tell all these people that were losing their jobs. He was almost crying — he was so welled up and choked up.”

The following Monday, an ad appeared in the Boston Globe in which Frake asked other companies to hire Jabil’s employees.

This program aired on May 18, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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