Glen Melder was so distressed when the new owners of his longtime employer shifted work to Virginia that he quit and started a company that would hire those who had been laid off.
"I tried to convince my employer to stay on Long Island, but I was unsuccessful," he said this week. "I saw them [co-workers] lose their jobs because they didn't want to move off the Island."
Melder said about 40 people received pink slips after Cosense Inc., a Hauppauge maker of ultrasonic liquid sensors and switches, was purchased last year by Measurement Specialties of Hampton, Va.
At the time, Melder was chief operating officer at Cosense, having joined the company in 1989.
Of the layoffs, he said, "I didn't know what to do at first. But then I decided to quit and start Sensaras" in May.
Sensaras LLC, located at 275 Marcus Dr. in Hauppauge, will compete with Cosense, turning out sensors used in medicine, semiconductors, water and waste management and aerospace.
"I hope to hire many of the people who lost their jobs, utilizing their specialized skills, and to keep the jobs in Suffolk County," Melder told the county's industrial development agency on Thursday.
He expects to have a payroll of eight in the company's first year and plans to apply for up to $20,000 in training grants from the county's Labor Department.
He plans to hire another seven people by 2016.
Wages, on average, will range from $62,907 to $75,450, records show.
The IDA agreed to provide $8,625 off the sales tax on equipment purchases for Sensaras' 3,135-square-foot office and factory.