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Insight: Hometown weary but defiant as Kodak's problems worsen

With investors placing bets on no matter if Eastman Kodak (EK.N) will seek bankruptcy relief, there is not too a lot a sense of crisis while a a sense resignation and fatigue among the residents in their hometown.

At one point, the corporation employed more than 60,000 people today in Rochester in upstate New York, where it had been born much more than 130 years back. Now, that number is much better 7,000 - and it has been decades because the organization, once synonymous with photography, began its downward slide.

"There's a saying about Rochester that there's life soon after Kodak," Tom Diederich, 59, said wryly. Diederich, who works part-time for car rental agency Hertz, retired from Kodak last month when his job was eliminated as portion of cost-cutting. He spent 20 years in Kodak's film division.

"I don't believe the impact will probably be as terrible as it might are actually. The steady decline of Kodak allowed the region to soak up the impact," he said.

He acknowledges that for years the enterprise has become based on "obsolete technology," but he shied from assigning blame or expressing anger.

"I raised a family over a Kodak paycheck. They had been good to me...and I'm grateful for many years to the," he said.

Jim Cook, 64, who spent 39 years in Kodak's paper finishing business enterprise and now does upkeep at a neighborhood Comfort Inn hotel, also said he'd work for Kodak again, if given the opportunity.

Kodak hired Cook immediately after twelfth grade, put him through pc programing, personal computer repair and electrician classes, and a couple of apprenticeships, 1 in sheet metal and 1 in getting an electrician.
For the moment, at least, the Kodak name is still everywhere in Rochester. Streets and buildings, alike, share it as well as the local history area of the Rochester library carries a substantial archive of material on the company's history.
Years back, Kodak also sponsored bowling leagues and subsidized the cost of ocean fishing trips off the coast of latest England to its staff, said Jack Gundrum, 75, who worked for Kodak for extra than 44 years, mostly in their research division.
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