Arrow Electronics Inc., once Long Island's largest public company by revenue, is shrinking its local workforce again, a spokesman said Thursday.
The electronic parts distributor plans to relocate 150 jobs, mostly in its finance, legal and transportation services departments, to the company's headquarters in Colorado, said spokesman John Hourigan.
That would leave 265 Arrow employees on Long Island, compared with as many as 1,000 the company once employed here. In 2011, Arrow moved its headquarters from Melville to Englewood, a Denver suburb.StoryHow LI lost its largest public company HQDocumentsRead the Arrow emailsStoryArrow Electronics moves HQ to Colorado
"We believe we can achieve performance alignment and productivity when the functions are located together," Hourigan said of the job shift announced Thursday.
That statement contrasted sharply with the company's stance four years ago, when it announced the headquarters move. "This is an address change," Hourigan said at the time. "No one is leaving New York."
And Arrow's chief executive, Michael J. Long, said then, "Our New York operations will continue to play a key role in the company."
At the time of its move, Arrow had 550 local employees. It was still a major employer and for years had topped Newsday's list of the largest public companies headquartered on Long Island.
But Arrow has been reducing its Long Island ranks and now has a shadow of its former presence here.
Long Island has weathered employment losses over the years, even large ones like the downsizing of the defense industry in the early 1990s, said economist Martin Melkonian, an associate professor at Hofstra University. The Island was able to bounce back because laid-off workers had options in other high-paying sectors like finance and housing.
"The situation is quite different now," he said "There aren't a lot of high-skilled, high-paying jobs that are opening up. It will not help that Arrow is gradually leaving."
Hourigan said the current relocations would happen gradually over this year and into early 2016 "to minimize any disruptions."
Most of the 150 employees will be offered relocation assistance, he said. Employees who decline to move will receive severance benefits. An information-technology unit will stay here.