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Published May 14, 2009, 06:29 PM

Alien Technology is closing its Fargo plant

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A company that once promised 1-thousand high-tech jobs for our area will soon have none. California-based Alien Technology Corp is closing its Fargo plant, citing the slumping economy. WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby joins us live with more on who this impacts. About 30 employees at Alien Technology have been let go a few at a time over the past couple of months. The ones left say they're out June 5th.

By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A company that once promised 1-thousand high-tech jobs for our area will soon have none. California-based Alien Technology Corp is closing its Fargo plant, citing the slumping economy.

WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby joins us live with more on who this impacts.

About 30 employees at Alien Technology have been let go a few at a time over the past couple of months. The ones left say they're out June 5th.

This means there is a rough road ahead for those employees and a new challenge for economic leaders pushing to bring new high tech businesses to our region.

Josh Decock says he's not surprised by the news he'll be losing his job. He's been saying goodbye to fellow employees for months and is already job searching himself.

“Makes people nervous, because they have to provide for their families, which is important, but they don't necessarily know how they're going to do it.”

In a region where the push to get high tech jobs is fairly recent, engineers like josh may have a hard time finding a similar job. Alien technology makes "smart tags" that use radio frequency to track goods.

“Making RFID tags is a unique thing, it's new, and we have machines here that don't exist anywhere else in the world.”

The Executive Director of the NDSU Research and Techonoogy Park says a number of high-tech companies are struggling in this economy, but that won't stop the effort to draw more of them to the area.

“Have to look to the future and not just dwell on this one situation, even though it's cause for concern. But we do need to. That's just prudent long term visionary aspect that we will sustain.”

Alien Technology released a statement saying the company will analyze several variables and determine whether or not the closure is permanent. However, employees have been told to look for other jobs.

The California-based company will repay its loan from the F-M area. Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation President Brian Walters says it loaned Alien Technology $134 thousand dollars to help buy down interest as long as the company created 31 jobs which it did.

Walters says the company will now pay back its loan over the next 5 months.

Though risky, Walters says these are the kinds of business projects needed for future local economic growth.

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