ITHACA, NY—One of Tompkins County’s largest job providers is significantly cutting its workforce locally, Ithaca’s voice Has confirmed. Over the next two years, automaker BorgWarner will close one of its two plants at its Warren Road campus near the Town of Lansing and Ithaca border.
The closure plant is used for the production of the valve train. A technical center and another plant at the site, for chain production, will remain operational, but the decision could affect a wide range of jobs.
“The company has decided to consolidate the valve train production facility at another existing BorgWarner facility and to close the valve train technical research center on the Ithaca, New York campus,” said Alexis Grimshaw, public relations specialist for BorgWarner. the company. “BorgWarner plans to continue to invest in manufacturing in New York and continues to invest in the United States to bring successful mobility innovations to market.”
Grimshaw said the consolidation and closing “are targeted for completion by the third quarter of 2023.” BorgWarner currently employs about 1,500 workers in Tompkins County, the Third largest employment provider in the county behind Cornell University and Ithaca College. The facility’s presence in Tompkins County stems from the Morse Chain Company, which was founded in Trumansburg in the late 1800s. The company joined BorgWarner in the 1920s and its presence in the area has remained constant ever since.
Grimshaw said the company had already announced its intentions to make “market-driven adjustments to adapt its cost structure in order to remain competitive in the current environment, including restructuring, closing or consolidating technical centers and /o manufacturing in all major regions.” and that this was the result of that strategy.
Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler and Ithaca Area Economic Development Executive Director Heather McDaniel mourned the closure and job losses. The complete change includes moving part of the operation to an existing facility in Mexico.
The final number of jobs affected is unknown, but McDaniel said it could be “up to a quarter of the employment base in the next two years,” though with retirements and normal turnover, the number will likely be lower, according to McDaniel. . The total number may take two years or more to actually determine. Sigler said he had been told about 280 jobs could be lost.
“Unfortunately, companies have to make decisions that remain competitive at the national or global level,” McDaniel said. “The reality is that they couldn’t keep that part of the business competitive in [New York State]. We can’t just throw money at them to make them profitable, they had to make some decisions.”
Notification to employees of this decision began this week. Grimshaw said the company is “committed to ensuring the smoothest possible transition for affected employees while continuing to support our customers and suppliers in the coming months.”
McDaniel said he had coordinated with New York state and the federal government on incentive options to keep the closing plant open, but to no avail.
“It’s important to look on the bright side,” McDaniel said. “It’s bad because you’ll lose jobs, but in the long run it makes a part of your business much more competitive. We are happy to have BorgWarner as one of our largest employers in Tompkins County and we will continue to work with them to help make their businesses profitable here.”