Business shifting to Mexico and Asia has prompted injection molder United Plastics Group Inc. to eliminate about 35 jobs. Also, in what the company said is an unrelated move, Chief Operating Officer Bruce Smith is leaving to head a Detroit-based auto parts manufacturer.
Most of the jobs cut by Westmont-based UPG were in sales and marketing, but some operations positions in North America also were eliminated, said Shannon White, president and chief executive officer. The reductions amount to a little less than 10 percent of the firm's 400 corporate staff.
The company expects to fill some of the vacant positions at operations in China and Mexico, he said in a May 30 telephone interview.
``We still see some business migrating to low-cost areas, to Mexico and China,'' White said. ``That's what the reduction in force in North America was all about.''
He said the company is profitable, and he does not plan more layoffs or anticipate any plant closings.
Smith joined the company two years ago but is leaving to become president of Piston Automotive LLC, a Detroit-based auto parts maker he worked at before UPG. White said Smith drove lean manufacturing at UPG and ``did a great job,'' and said his departure is unrelated to the layoffs.
Smith could not be reached at deadline. White said the company does not plan to fill his position.