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Telephonics cutting almost 100 jobs

About 35 workers 65 or older accepted the

About 35 workers 65 or older accepted the voluntary retirement packages, Joseph Battaglia, president and chief executive of the maker of radar and telecommunications systems, said on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. This is a Telephonics facility in Huntington on Dec. 15, 2011. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Defense contractor Telephonics Corp. is cutting almost 100 full-time, part-time and temporary jobs from its workforce, about one-third of those through voluntary retirement buyouts, officials said.

About 35 workers, age 65 or older, accepted the voluntary retirement packages, said Joseph Battaglia, president and chief executive of the Farmingdale-based maker of radar and telecommunications systems.

The other job cuts involved computer professionals, who oversaw the multiyear installation of a new enterprise resource planning software system completed in the summer, and about 35 temporary and part-time workers.

"We were able to streamline activities a little finer," Battaglia said Monday. "You have budget issues at the Department of Defense. Everybody's got to make sure we're getting the biggest bang for the buck."

The cuts, many initiated in September, leave Telephonics' head count at about 1,200, almost all on Long Island at the company's headquarters in Farmingdale and manufacturing facilities in Huntington. The company also employs about 80 workers in Columbia, Maryland, and six in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, he said.

In 2012 the company, founded in 1933, had its first job cuts in 17 years when 20 employees were laid off as the company consolidated manufacturing from three Huntington buildings to two, he said.

Battaglia said that Telephonics, with an aging workforce, is struggling to attract young engineering talent. Almost none of the job cuts announced Monday were engineering jobs.

"Schools need to do something to graduate more engineers and program managers" instead of software coders "who want to write apps for the iPhone," he said.

In third-quarter earnings announced in July, Telephonics' revenue fell 21 percent. Battaglia attributed a greater dependence on foreign sales for lumpiness in quarter-to-quarter sales. Foreign markets account for 25 percent to 30 percent of sales, Battaglia said, about 10 percentage points higher than five years ago.

Battaglia said the company's order backlog is at record levels: "We're doing very well."

Telephonics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corp., whose other units make home and building products.

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