Nypro Inc. plans to cut about 55 jobs in the United States, including 40 at its headquarters in Clinton, Mass., a move the firm blames on a poor economy and its transition to more contract manufacturing.
``The economy is tight, and in North America there have been some positions that were no longer needed,'' said Nypro spokesman Al Cotton. ``That's the No. 1 issue.''
But he added that the company, one of North America's largest custom injection molders, also is trying to restructure its work force to make room for more design and engineering skills that contract manufacturing work calls for.
``The other issue is, we are basically making the transition from a molder to a contract manufacturer,'' he said. ``As you grow, the new positions are not what the old positions used to be.''
The layoffs are split about evenly between Nypro's factory staff and its corporate staff in Clinton, with 10-15 cuts coming outside its Clinton base.
They are the first layoffs at Nypro in about two years, when the company closed one plant in Georgia and reduced staff at another. They are the first layoffs at Clinton since 1999, when the firm eliminated about 20 jobs.
Nypro employs about 1,000 in Clinton and 4,000 in the United States. The firm plans to add about 100 jobs by the end of the year at an $8 million technical center in Clinton.
The changes in the United States, however, are dwarfed by the company's rapid growth overseas. Nypro has added some 2,000 workers worldwide since mid-2001, giving it 10,000 employees around the globe. Most of that growth came in China, with some in Mexico, Cotton said.
In particular, Nypro in the past three years has doubled the number of mold makers it employs worldwide, even as that sector of the industry suffers in the United States, Cotton said.
The company employs close to 500 mold makers now, up from 250 three years ago when it began its transition to contract manufacturing, he said. More mold makers are needed, as the company becomes more involved in product design, Cotton said.
``We have a new mold shop opening in Suzhou [China], a new one opening in Bangalore [India] and a new one in Moscow,'' he said. By the end of the year, Cotton predicted, Nypro could have close to 750 mold makers on its payroll.
Nypro had $729 million in sales for the year ended June 30, and reported profit of $45.8 million. In fiscal 2001, the company had sales of $682 million and profit of $41.6 million.