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 user 2008-08-21 at 5:07:30 pm Views: 68
  • #20669
    Corvallis HP layoffs start
    at Hewlett-Packard’s Corvallis site started this week, sources told the
    Gazette-Times on Tuesday, in line with cuts in the company’s inkjet
    printing division that the company calls its “Print 2.0
    transformation,” with more change in store for next year.HP would not
    confirm reports of job reductions in Corvallis, but company spokesman
    Dave Berman released a statement that did support news that some cuts
    were coming in its imaging and printing group (IPG), which has a strong
    presence and history here.“The realignment of IPG’s business entails
    shifting resources from slower growing businesses to new business
    opportunities,” according to the statement. “In some cases, parts of
    IPG’s business will experience reductions while investments will be
    made in high growth segments of the business.”

    The company’s
    inkjet printing technology was developed by Corvallis engineers in the
    mid-1980s.Sources told the Gazette-Times months ago that HP managers
    planned to shut down one of three silicon wafer fabrication facilities
    at the Corvallis site and that 35 percent to 45 percent of the 850
    employees who work in the fabs were to be laid off.

    figures indicate as many as 300 jobs in jeopardy. HP has never
    officially confirmed any news of job cuts here, although sources say
    more changes are on the horizon.employees in the Corvallis and
    Vancouver, Wash., information technology departments have been warned
    that the company plans to consolidate its IT workers in Austin, Texas,
    by the end of next summer.That move will affect a total of 115
    engineers who will be asked to relocate to central Texas starting in
    March.On Tuesday, HP announced its quarterly revenues rose 10 percent
    to $28 billion, ahead of Wall Street expectations of $27.43 billion.
    Revenues for the company’s imaging and printing group grew by 3 percent
    year over year, to $7 billion.

    On the flip side, profits from
    consumer printers slipped 14 percent compared to last year, and
    commercial printing equipment dropped 5 percent over the same time
    period.In a conference call announcing the company’s quarterly results,
    Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said HP has shipped 2 percent
    fewer printers when compared to last year in a “tough” printing
    market.“Within IPG, we are focused on reducing our costs with ongoing
    initiatives to improve supply chain efficiency and lower product
    costs,” she said.

    The Corvallis-Benton Chamber Coalition geared
    up assistance programs for displaced workers when rumors began flying
    in May that some job cuts were imminent.Local chamber organizers said
    they have not received word from the company about this round of
    layoffs, as they had during earlier reductions here.“We’re always
    looking for people who are coming out,” said Mysty Rusk, Chamber
    president. “We think we can place any qualified technical person who
    comes out.”

    The disconnect between HP and the Chamber comes
    after Corvallis site managers dropped membership in the group this
    spring as part of a plan the company said was meant to focus on broader
    business alliances.The decision resulted in a loss of an anticipated
    $16,000 per year the chamber had received from HP in support of city
    economic development programs and chamber dues, just more than 3
    percent of the chamber’s total membership dues.

    employed about 6,000 people in Corvallis as recently as 1996, mainly in
    its inkjet printer division. That number dropped to about 2,500 in 2007
    as the company continued to move production overseas and reduce
    employee costs through buyouts and early retirement.Current employee
    numbers remain guesses, however, as HP has declined to discuss those
    figures here or at any other site for years.