Good Evening
Good Evening

NBTY to close Amityville plant, eliminate 214 jobs

NBTY employees work in the Amityville plant on

NBTY employees work in the Amityville plant on Oct. 24, 2012. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Ronkonkoma-based vitamin and food supplement maker NBTY Inc. will close its Amityville manufacturing operation in October and outsource the work to a California company, a move that will eliminate 214 jobs, according to a state regulatory filing.

There are 120 open positions at five other NBTY manufacturing, packaging and warehousing facilities in Suffolk County that affected workers may apply for, NBTY spokeswoman Andrea Staub said. "Some associates will have the opportunity to fill open positions and those who don't will be offered a comprehensive severance package," she said.

The plant is housed in two buildings, at 5100 and 7000 New Horizons Blvd. Layoffs will occur between July 31 and Oct. 2, according to the notice posted Thursday on the New York State Department of Labor's website.

In March, NBTY agreed to transfer the manufacturing of its sports nutrition bars to Nellson Nutraceutical LLC, based in Irwindale, California, Staub said.

"They have very special manufacturing capabilities to the meet the growing demand for our business," she said. "They can produce more bars and faster."

The affected employees, who are not represented by a union, were notified about the closing on March 3, Staub said.

NBTY received support from the Empire State Development and the Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency to open the $32 million, 60,000-square-foot Amityville operation in October 2012.

In June 2013, Empire State Development touted that NBTY had exceeded by eight jobs its hiring goals to add 200 jobs at the plant, and as a result had approved a $750,000 grant to the company. NBTY was also provided with a tax incentive from the IDA of 60 percent savings off its property tax bill over 15 years.

"We engaged in aggressive talks with NBTY, but they could not be convinced to stay," Matt McDonough, CEO of the Babylon IDA, said in a statement, adding it has begun to reach out to other businesses that are interested in moving to the location. "Now we are committed to reclaiming every dollar of IDA benefits previously awarded and returning them to the taxing jurisdictions."

NBTY is working with the Babylon Town IDA on repayment, and it never took the state grant, Staub said. The company has not made a decision on the future of the buildings.

ESD officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Manufacturing jobs on Long Island have been on the decline in the past 25 years. In March 1990, there were 143,900 manufacturing jobs compared with 71,300 this past March, according to the latest labor department statistics.

NBTY, with brands including Vitamin World, Nature's Bounty, and GNC, Thursday reported net income of $13.26 million on sales of $787.88 million for the quarter ended March 31, up from $9.90 million on sales of $779.03 million in the same quarter a year earlier. NBTY is privately owned by the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based investment fund. It employs about 13,000 globally, of whom 6,000 are in the U.S. and 2,600 on Long Island.

More news