Coherent lays off 144 in Auburn manufacturing plant

August 27, 2008--Laser manufacturer Coherent plans to exit Auburn in 2009; outsources manufacturing to Asia.

August 27, 2008--Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA), has laid off 144 employees at its manufacturing plant in Auburn, CA, to further its goal of closing the Auburn facility no later than the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

An article in the Sacramento Business Journal reported that the laser giant--one of the largest employers in the Auburn community near Sacramento--once had almost 800 employees at its four-building campus at the Auburn Airport Business Park. The company has been cutting its U.S. payroll and moving the manufacturing of certain product families to Asia to save labor costs. In October 2008, the once huge Coherent campus was reduced to a single building, the lease of which is up at the end of 2008. Auburn and Placer Country officials say the company is expected to quit the building entirely at that time, although a couple dozen staff could remain in the area through March 2009.

In April 2008, Coherent entered into an arrangement with Research Electro-Optics to handle fabrication and coating of optical components for Coherent. The companies should complete the deal by the end of second-quarter 2009.

By Valerie C. Coffey


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