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HP to close plant, cut 300 jobs

The company plans to shutter a New Jersey computer assembly plant, the first factory shutdown announced since the Compaq Computer acquisition.

Hewlett-Packard plans to shutter a New Jersey computer assembly plant, the first factory shutdown announced since the company's acquisition of Compaq Computer.

HP has vowed to cut 15,000 jobs and trim $3 billion in annual costs as a result of the merger, in part by streamlining its manufacturing process. The closure of the Swedesboro, N.J., plant, which is planned for the end of October, will cost 300 full-time HP workers their jobs, according to the company.

The 250,000-square-foot facility was the smallest of four manufacturing plants that Compaq acquired from Inacom in January 2000. The facility was used for final assembly and some manufacturing of desktops, notebooks, servers and handhelds ordered from Compaq's Web site.

"It really didn't have the size or scale we needed to achieve cost-effectiveness," said HP spokesman Roger Frizzell.

Frizzell said the company will shift work to three larger plants in Nebraska, Indiana and California. Workers were notified of the closure last week, Frizzell said.

Those who do not find jobs elsewhere within the company will receive a minimum of 12 weeks' severance pay. Frizzell said HP will look to lease out the location.

News of the facility's closure was reported earlier by The Philadelphia Inquirer.