© pinonsky dreamstime.com General | September 30, 2019
ON Semiconductor shrinking workforce by 30 in NY
16 months after a ribbon-cutting celebrating a 7,700-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing center in Rochester, photonics technology company ON Semiconductor is laying off about 30 employees at the site.
An ON Semiconductor company spokesperson told NBC affiliate WHAM13 that specific production space within the plant is shutting down to reflect a high-tech industry downturn in demand for certain image sensors and that the company is redeveloping the space to create other products. Director of Operations and GM Michael Miller said, “ON Semiconductor is committed to staying in the New York area through recently announced partnerships. Our Rochester site will still support pixel design and modeling, device characterization and test engineering. In additional to these engineering functions, certain marketing functions for our Intelligent Sensing Group will remain onsite.” The company enlarged its footprint in the Eastman Kodak Business Park in 2018 with the help of USD 4.3 million in taxpayer dollars. As reported WHAM13 last year, another USD 1.7 million came from the state, through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program, with the expected addition of 34 jobs within two years. Recently, a former town supervisor from nearby Town of Gates, Mark Assini, questioned the massive outlay of taxpayer dollars bring this and other hi-tech companies to the region. "I’m not surprised there are layoffs. This is a highly competitive, highly technical field. ON is facing a downturn in the global economy relative to this industry, and they’re not the only one facing these challenges,” Assini told WHAM, adding, “I have no confidence going forward with ON’s presence in the Rochester community." Empire State Development (ESD), which helped steer tax dollars toward the project, has said it is disappointed by the layoffs. “We have been informed that ON Semiconductor is planning to ramp down its operations out of Rochester, citing an accelerated evolution in its product manufacturing business," a statement read. "While unexpected and disappointing, ESD and local partners are already working aggressively on potential alternatives consistent with the region's economic development strategies." ESD says USD 6 million in tax credits to help the company expand in Rochester have not been disbursed. The WHAM13 story also reported that a company spokesperson said employees being laid off may transition to other areas, and the company is helping others find work.