Stryker Instruments, which last month won a tax break from Portage, Mich., for a $154 million, 485,000-square-foot R&D facility there, confirmed the layoffs in Kalamazoo last week to a local television station. Although the company would not specify how many positions would be cut, WWMT reported that “calls into our newsroom say about 50 people will lose their jobs.”
“We have determined that organizational changes are needed to help drive efficiencies across our business, including limited reductions in our work force,” Stryker said in a statement emailed to the station. “These changes will allow us to invest in important areas to build new capabilities that will help us keep growing in Kalamazoo and continue meeting the needs of our customers.”
For the Portage plant, Stryker landed a $1 million state grant and a $7 million tax break, set to take effect when construction is complete in 2019, the WWMT reported; construction could begin as early as May.
In November 2011, Stryker said it would lay off about 5% of its workforce, or about 1,000 employees, partially in response to the looming medical device tax. The tax, a 2.3% excise levy on U.S. medical device sales, was in effect from 2013 to 2015 but is under a 2-year moratorium that’s set to expire this year.