Photo Insight: Cutting 'Old Heads' at IBM for ProPublica

For nearly a half century, IBM came as close as any company to bearing the torch for the American Dream.

As the world’s dominant technology firm, payrolls at International Business Machines Corp. swelled to nearly a quarter-million U.S. white-collar workers in the 1980s. Its profits helped underwrite a broad agenda of racial equality, equal pay for women and an unbeatable offer of great wages and something close to lifetime employment, all in return for unswerving loyalty.

But when high tech suddenly started shifting and companies went global, IBM faced the changing landscape with a distinction most of its fiercest competitors didn’t have: a large number of experienced and aging U.S. employees. (Story by PETER GOSSELIN AND ARIANA TOBIN)

Read more at ProPublica or Mother Jones.

I took photos of Marjorie Madfis and Ed Miyoshi who are ex IBM employees.

 Marjorie Madfis is the President and Executive Director of Yes She Can Inc. boutique for American Girl Dolls in White Plains, New York. Marjorie Madfis, a mother of a teen girl with autism founded Yes She Can Inc. to help teen girls and young women with autism spectrum disorders to develop transferable job skills to enable them to join the competitive workforce and achieve greater independence. 

Marjorie Madfis is the President and Executive Director of Yes She Can Inc. boutique for American Girl Dolls in White Plains, New York. Marjorie Madfis, a mother of a teen girl with autism founded Yes She Can Inc. to help teen girls and young women with autism spectrum disorders to develop transferable job skills to enable them to join the competitive workforce and achieve greater independence. 

  Resale boutique for American Girl Dolls store Girl A Gain in White Plains, New York. Marjorie Madfis, a mother of a teen girl with autism founded Yes She Can Inc. to help teen girls and young women with autism spectrum disorders to develop transferable job skills to enable them to join the competitive workforce and achieve greater independence.

 Resale boutique for American Girl Dolls store Girl A Gain in White Plains, New York. Marjorie Madfis, a mother of a teen girl with autism founded Yes She Can Inc. to help teen girls and young women with autism spectrum disorders to develop transferable job skills to enable them to join the competitive workforce and achieve greater independence.

 Collection of dolls arranged on the shelves at the resale boutique for American Girl Dolls store Girl A Gain in White Plains, New York.

Collection of dolls arranged on the shelves at the resale boutique for American Girl Dolls store Girl A Gain in White Plains, New York.

 President and Executive Director of Yes She Can Inc, Majorie Madfis work with her daughter Isabelle at her resale boutique for American Girl Dolls store Girl A Gain in White Plains, New York.

President and Executive Director of Yes She Can Inc, Majorie Madfis work with her daughter Isabelle at her resale boutique for American Girl Dolls store Girl A Gain in White Plains, New York.

 Only two weeks after IBM laid him off in December 2016, Ed Miyoshi of Hopewell Junction, New York, started work as a subcontractor to the company. But he took a $20,000-a-year pay cut. “I’m not a millionaire, so that’s a lot of money to me,” he says.

Only two weeks after IBM laid him off in December 2016, Ed Miyoshi of Hopewell Junction, New York, started work as a subcontractor to the company. But he took a $20,000-a-year pay cut. “I’m not a millionaire, so that’s a lot of money to me,” he says.

 Ed Miyoshi at the IBM facilities in Hopewell Junction.

Ed Miyoshi at the IBM facilities in Hopewell Junction.

Photos taken for ProPublica.

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Demetrius Freeman is a freelance Visual Journalist, who most frequently covers the metro section of The New York Times. For two years, he was a photographer for New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio. His work has been published in CNN, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Tampa Bay Times, and ProPublica. Demetrius has participated in several workshops and seminars including The Mountain Workshop, The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, The New York Times Portfolio Review, The Missouri Photo Workshop, and is an alumni of The Eddie Adams Workshop XXVII. He also supports and contributes in photography volunteer work and provide mentorship to high school photography students. Learn more and send him a note through his website, or follow him on Instagram @demetriusfreeman.