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Apple to halt N. California production

It's closing manufacturing operations in the Sacramento area, a move that's likely to lead to the loss of more than 200 jobs.

Apple Computer said on Wednesday that it is shuttering its Northern California manufacturing operations and transferring the work to an outside contractor in the southern part of the state.

"As part of an ongoing effort to make our operations more efficient, Apple is closing its Sacramento manufacturing operation and moving most of its California-based manufacturing activities to a supplier in Southern California," the company said in a statement.

Apple would not say how many workers are affected by the closure, but the company had told local government officials it planned to cut 235 jobs, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker will continue to employ workers at the facility in nonmanufacturing areas. Apple also has a call center operation at the 752,000-square-foot facility, according to its most recent annual report, filed in December with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Employees from various other functions of the company will continue to work in Apple's Sacramento facility, and while this action will result in a reduction in operations staff, Apple's overall headcount worldwide continues to grow," the company said.

The plant, which once cranked out Apple's fruit-flavored iMacs, opened in 1992, according to the Bee.

The company has gradually reduced the number of manufacturing workers in the Sacramento area in recent years. In 2002, Apple cut some manufacturing jobs at its Elk Grove plant. In 1999, the company let go 25 to 50 full-time employees and about 300 contractors.