East Fishkill Supervisor John Hickman and others react to the IBM deal with Global Foundries.
Darryl Bautista/Poughkeepsie Journal
GlobalFoundries, the semiconductor manufacturing company, has plans to cut an estimated 5 percent of jobs at its East Fishkill manufacturing facility.
James Keller company spokesman based out of the East Fishkill confirmed the company will cut jobs globally, and this will impact local chip-making plants including East Fishkill and the Essex Junction semiconductor plant in Vermont.
Keller said he will not share the exact number of cuts in East Fishkill, but the “5 percent estimate should be fairly close.” The local impact will focus “mostly on corporate organizations located at the fab,” he said.
What are the cuts for?
The cuts are “designed to improve our cost-structure to stay competitive with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) and others,” said Keller referring to GlobalFoundries’ competitors. “It will impact approximately 5 percent of our global headcount and yes, the East Fishkill facility (Fab 10) will be included.”
East Fishkill is one of the company’s three manufacturing facilities in the northeast corridor including one in Malta. East Fishkill employs some 1,500 full-time employees, many a carryover from IBM; GlobalFoundries took over the East Fishkill facility from IBM in 2015. The facility runs 365 days a year.
Burlington employs 2,600 full-time and Malta employs 3,000.
The cuts were necessary to “minimize redundancies and overlap that still remains from the IBM Microelectronics acquisition,” said Keller.
In a recent interview with The Poughkeepsie Journal, Keller said the facility also loses employees through attrition and retirement and the company aims to fill the positions with the local workforce. He emphasized a severe shortage of certain positions such as technicians.
“We post jobs because we lose jobs,” Keller said. “We are in a stable mode here.”
Based off of GlobalFoundries webiste the company has 21 positions open for East Fishkill.
In an email response Thursday, Keller said the company continues to invest in the local facility and fill open jobs that are not impacted by this action.
“We’re confident that these changes will position us to build a solid foundation to sustain growth and continue investing in the future,” he said.
What’s the impact on the local economy?
Assistant County Executive for Economic Development Ron Hicks said he had not heard of specific cuts beyond what he had read in the media, but layoffs in manufacturing are not a surprise. He said the average attrition rate for the manufacturing industry is 13 percent nationally.
Hicks said once the county receives notification there is more than 50 people downsized they activate a rapid response team and work with the Department of Labor on job placement and training.
“As soon as they notify us of action, we will be ready to assist and we can do this in an hour’s notice,” said Hicks.
Hicks said GlobalFoundries is critical to the local and regional economy.
“They are a top employer and not just significant because of number of people they employ, but because of the work they do,” said Hicks.
Hicks said he believes the East Fishkill facility’s business will continue to grow.
“I am optimistic that they will grow…We think they are positioning themselves to grow, but they have to do so efficiently.”
Amy Wu: firstname.lastname@example.org; 845-451-4529; Twitter @wu_PoJo
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