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National Grid lays off 160 management workers companywide

National Grid USA on Friday said it laid off 160 management employees companywide and plans to move out of its main buildings in Hicksville and Brooklyn over the next two years.

The moves, National Grid said in a series of statements to Newsday, are part of a restructuring plan begun in 2018 that are aimed at cutting costs and improving service. 

National Grid will move out of its two Hicksville offices, at 100 and 175 E. Old Country Rd, over the next two years as it reviews new locations for workers who remain, with a plan to move in by early 2021, spokesman Domemick Graziani said in a series of emails. 

In addition, National Grid will relocate from its current Brooklyn main office at the MetroTech center to a new facility within the borough by 2020, he said.

Graziani said the management cuts stemmed from a strategic shift began in mid-2018 in the company's operating model. "That meant changing a number of leadership roles, accountabilities and delivery processes," he said.

More than 700 employees currently work at the two Hicksville facilities. The company has  about 4,000 downstate New York employees, including around 2,000 on Long Island, where it operates a natural gas distribution network of some 560,000 customers. National Grid also owns and operates three large power plants — in Northport, Port Jefferson and Island Park — under contract to LIPA, and numerous smaller peak-power plants. 

National Grid declined to specify how many of the 160 laid off employees were from its Long Island and Brooklyn locations. 

Graziani said the company was reviewing all its U.S. properties to either "consolidate or move to another location." 

National Grid USA, which is owned by London-based energy conglomerate National Grid, has 16,500 U.S. employees in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

On Long Island, National Grid has been in transition since it lost the contract to operate the Long Island Power Authority electric grid to PSEG in 2014. 

Despite the planned layoffs, Graziani said National Grid currently has more than 600 job openings companywide, adding that it was "investing in new opportunities and solutions" toward "leading a clean-energy economy." And while the company continues to explore efficiencies and stragies to reduce costs for customers, "we don't see any further [staff] reductions of this scale in the foreseeable future." 

The main Hicksville facility, now used chiefly as a PSEG operating base and customer center, had once been a prime operating headquarters of the former Long Island Lighting Co. In 1998, LILCO joined with Brooklyn Union Gas to become MarketSpan, later KeySpan, a transaction gave LIPA ownership of the electric transmission and distribution, the electric customers, and the shuttered Shoreham nuclear plant. KeySpan, which kept much of the the property, power plants and the gas business, was acquired by National Grid for $7.3 billion in 2007. 

Graziani said the restructuring plans also include a review of "all surplus properties." 

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