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Festo to cut 75 Hauppauge jobs as work moves to Ohio

Festo Corp. plans to cut 75 jobs at

Festo Corp. plans to cut 75 jobs at its two operations in Hauppauge, as it moves more work to Ohio. This is one of the facilities in Hauppauge, seen on April 24, 2013. Credit: Barry Sloan

Festo Corp. plans to lay off 75 employees at its two operations in Hauppauge as it moves factory and warehouse work to Ohio.

In a notice to the state Labor Department, officials at the seller of automation equipment used in plants said 33 workers would be let go at the 395 Moreland Rd. factory and another 42 at the 430 Wireless Blvd. warehouse.

Festo, which is based in Germany, intends to shift a total of 120 jobs to the Cincinnati area from its local payroll of 270. However, a company spokeswoman said Monday it would add jobs on Long Island as sales increase.

The Ohio expansion, first announced in 2013, will bring Festo closer to its customer base, which has moved west and south since the U.S. headquarters was first established on the Island in 1972.

Spokeswoman Katherine Heaviside said all affected employees "were offered the chance to apply" for jobs in Ohio and 43 will relocate.

She said Festo intends to keep its U.S. corporate offices on Long Island, though the location has yet to be determined.

One option is to remodel the 395 Moreland facility. The $4 million price tag has been approved by executives in Germany, she said.

Heaviside also confirmed that Festo has scrapped plans to move to 10 Pinelawn Dr. in Melville, the iconic former offices of Swiss Air. She said the building couldn't accommodate a loading dock and other amenities required by the engineering department.

In April, the Suffolk County IDA backed the $17 million Melville project with tax breaks to preserve Festo's local workforce.

The company's tax bills would have been reduced by up to $805,775 over several years. No benefits were received because the deal wasn't completed.

Anthony J. Catapano, the IDA's executive director, said Monday, "While we remain committed to providing assistance, we have not been officially informed if this [Melville] project is moving forward."

The county, New York State and Brookhaven Town tried to keep the Festo factory and warehouse. But the company chose Ohio, which offered tax credits over 12 years in return for the creation of 250 jobs at a 175,000-square-foot complex in Mason, northeast of Cincinnati.

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