September 17, 2014

Elyria
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Invacare lays off 60 in Elyria

Invacare in Elyria on Wednesday announced layoffs. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Invacare in Elyria on Wednesday announced layoffs of 150 associates and 40 temporary workers from its facilities, including 60 in Elyria. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — One of Elyria’s largest manufacturers again is cutting its workforce.

Invacare Corp. announced Wednesday a layoff of 150 associates and 40 temporary workers from facilities in North America and Asia. The effect on the Elyria-North Ridgeville campus is 60 associates, said Lara Mahoney, company spokeswoman.

“We have been under significant financial pressure, as our last quarterly statement reflects,” she said. “We are restructuring and trying to put ourselves in the right financial picture.”

The employee cuts are effective immediately with the majority being salaried associates in various departments, Mahoney said. Some also are from the Taylor Street manufacturing facility in Elyria. A breakdown between hourly and salary employees was not available.

Mahoney said affected employees will receive severance and benefits packages that vary based on tenure with the company. This will be in addition to transition assistance and outplacement services.

Robert K. Gudbranson, Invacare interim president and chief executive officer, said in a statement the move to cut employees was made to increase cash flow and profitability.

“While the decision to downsize our workforce is extremely difficult, it is a necessary step toward achieving these objectives in light of our financial results for the first six months of 2014 and the slow sales start to the third quarter,” he said.

These layoffs are only the latest to rock Invacare. The international manufacturer and distributor of home and long-term care medical products headquartered in Elyria began shedding employees in December 2010 when it cut 143 employees after entering into a consent decree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Since then, dozens more employees were let go. Those who remained saw their hours reduced.

The company continues to comply with the consent decree, which called for three comprehensive third-party audits of its quality control systems to culminate with a follow-up inspection by representatives from the FDA. Mahoney said the company is in the midst of the third and final third-party audit.

“We passed our first two certification audits and we have some additional work to do to get through the third, but we are committed to the process,” she said.

That process, which reduced Invacare’s capacity to manufacture, has had a clear effect on the company’s bottom line.

Invacare is strong in Europe but sales were weak domestically and in Asia, according to the company’s second-quarter results announced in July. Mahoney said the company had an adjusted net loss for the second-quarter of $27 million.

More than 800 associates continue to work at the Elyria-North Ridgeville campus.

Mahoney said the plant continues to produce, although at a limited capacity, and investments have been made to quality control systems at the plant.

“We are committed to our turnaround. Unfortunately, reducing head-count is how we have to turn around the business,” she said. “But we are committed to making Invacare a strong company for the associates who remain, which is the reason why we are focused on restructuring.”

The restructuring is expected to generate $14 million to $15 million in annualized pre-tax savings when fully instituted in 2015. The company expects to incur restructuring charges not to exceed $6 million on a pre-tax basis.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.


  • Fred Garvin

    A very unstable place to work. They always seem to layoff every time the company hits a bump in the road. Management makes some very bad decisions.

    • Sis Delish

      A real home-town success story destroyed by the FDA.

      Wonder what Sherrod Brown and Dennis Kucinich have to say about this? More regulations?

      • Seeker

        I am sure they just blame it on Kasic

        • Sis Delish

          Who is Kasic?

  • GreatRedeemer

    Its what companies do, not unique to Invacare. However, with all of the public news, prior layoffs etc… Employees might want to consider updating job skills, networking and dusting off the resume. I’m all for being loyal but if this is how the business becomes profitable then its a two way street.

    • Fred Garvin

      Many of these companies make you sign a non compete contract even when you bring your well established skills to their company. I would hardly call it a two way street for many.

  • todd

    Thank you Bill Clinton. I can remember an economics professor doing his best, trying to explain how NAFTA will benefit the US in the NEW global economy. I told him to his face he was dreaming and this would ruin the Midwest mgft. Ohio is still to this day losing mgft. jobs.

    • Scout

      Todd how dare you bring the actual ‘culprit’ into this discussion? Don’t you read the blogs- it’s always Bush’s fault. Now you gone and muddied the waters. Bet most of the people on the street don’t even know what NAFTA stands for? (sarcasim intended-laughing out loud). And by the way, you are correct in your assessment of how NAFTA worked out for us.

  • silkskin1960

    Invacare has ruined many lives…..

    • Sis Delish

      How many lives did they help?

    • Bill Love

      How?

  • Michelle Ramirez

    I left Invacare back in 2006.. It was not a hard decision to make, Invacare WAS an awesome company to work for years ago… I’ve always appreciated this company giving me the opportunity, it really was a great 14 years of experience! I’ve made some life long friends, and feel that the work ethic I learned has made me successful in my business today! I just hope they are able to turn things around and keep the business going for many more years to come! Prayer’s to those families effected, but there is life after Invacare, trust me!

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Coming soon………………more vacant buildings on Taylor street………..wait for the bankruptcy announcement soon…………