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Nature’s Bounty plans to bring 157 jobs to Suffolk: State

Line runner Francisca Nuñez looks on as containers

Line runner Francisca Nuñez looks on as containers are filled with zinc caplets at The Nature's Bounty Co. in Bohemia on Jan. 26, 2017. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Nature’s Bounty Co. plans to create 157 jobs in Suffolk County as part of a $142 million plan to close factories in China and California and move the work here, New York State officials announced Thursday.

The Ronkonkoma-based manufacturer of vitamins and dietary supplements has agreed to modernize its 11 Suffolk facilities and to expand in return for up to $35 million in state aid over 10 years, officials said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s economic development chief, Howard Zemsky, said the state grant, tax credits and worker training funds will keep Nature’s Bounty on Long Island “for many years to come.”

The company, formerly named NBTY, is one of the Island’s largest manufacturers, with about 2,050 employees. It has pledged to hire the additional workers over the next year.

“Due to this project, the Nature’s Bounty Co. will continue to bring jobs, economic growth and opportunity to Long Island,” Zemsky said.

Nature’s Bounty CEO Steve Cahillane said, “We look forward to working together to grow our company globally from our manufacturing home base on Long Island.”

The company plans to shut down its operations in Zhongshan, China, and in Garden Grove and Santa Fe Springs, California, and move the equipment to Suffolk. The transfer “will occur in the next few months” and boost local production of raw and bulk materials used to make vitamins and supplements, according to company spokeswoman Sonya Soutus.

The aid from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, consists of a grant of up to $25 million, up to $8.5 million in state tax credits that are tied to new hires and maintaining the current workforce, and $1.5 million to support employee training.

Nature’s Bounty also receives discounted electricity from the state Power Authority.

In 2012 the state helped Nature’s Bounty open a factory in Amityville to make nutritional bars.

However, three years later the plant was closed because it couldn’t meet soaring demand for the bars. More than 200 jobs were lost as production moved to a California subcontractor.

Nature’s Bounty, which is owned by the private equity firm Carlyle Group in Washington, had sales of $3.2 billion in 2015, the last year that it publicly reported its financial performance.

Asked yesterday if Nature’s Bounty had considered leaving Long Island, Soutus said, “We are looking always at our manufacturing footprint, for ways that we can stay most competitive. But Long Island is our home. We wanted to do everything that we possibly could to keep our [local] manufacturing footprint intact.”

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