Economic woes hit C-Vision

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Manufacturer cuts third of its workforce

AMHERST - An Amherst electronics contract manufacturer is cutting its workforce by nearly a third because of tough economic times.

C-Vision, in the industrial park is cutting 38 jobs at the same time that another firm, Waldale Manufacturing, is cutting about a fifth of its 50-person workforce.

Economic woes hit C-Vision

AMHERST - An Amherst electronics contract manufacturer is cutting its workforce by nearly a third because of tough economic times.

C-Vision, in the industrial park is cutting 38 jobs at the same time that another firm, Waldale Manufacturing, is cutting about a fifth of its 50-person workforce.

"The reason for the layoff is due to a decrease in client demand as a result of the downtown in the global economy," company president Chuck Cartmill said in a news release.

Cartmill said a number of his company's clients have scaled down their operations because of economic conditions and that impact has trickled down to affect C-Vision.

He said the company has established a call-in list to bring the affected employees back to work as production demand builds.

The layoffs are the first for what has become a very successful operation that was purchased by Cartmill in 2002. From one employee, the company has continued to grow over the last six years and expand into aerospace and military sectors.

Cartmill expects things to rebound soon for his company.

"It's really unfortunate that this happened, but sometimes that stuff happens," Cartmill said, adding he doesn't expect the slowdown to be long lasting. "We're just getting ready to ramp up our LED project and thought it would get us through the transition. Unfortunately there's a bit of a gap there and in real life things don't happen that smooth."

C-Vision and its sister company LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. has invested more than $3 million in research and development on what the company says is the world's greenest street/roadway lighting system that will be manufactured in Amherst.

It plans to announce a number of test sites across North America and the Middle East in the first quarter of 2009.

It has also invested $4 million in the development of its aerospace and defence capabilities.

"We plan on keeping growing the business. We have some exciting things going on here and we're confident things will turn around soon," he said.

Amherst's new mayor Robert Small said he talked to officials at C-Vision and is optimistic the layoffs will be temporary.

"Every job is important and it's unfortunate that this had to happen," Small said. "We've seen it in Cape Breton and now we're starting to see it here. Hopefully that'll be the extent of it."

Waldale's cut is seasonal in nature. The company produces license plates for markets in Canada, the United States and internationally.

"We go through this cycle at this time almost every year because that's how government contracts go," said company official Todd Lawrence. "Last year we didn't have that because we had a lot of Caribbean and Latin America work in the plant. We don't have that this year."

Lawrence expects most of those employees to be called back to work early in 2009.

Waldale Manufacturing, formerly locally owned, was sold to an international partnership including industry giants Utsch AG of Germany and Australia's George Industries in 2005.

dcole@amherstdaily.com



Organizations: Waldale Manufacturing, Roadway Lighting, Utsch AG of Germany George Industries

Geographic location: AMHERST, North America, Middle East Cape Breton Canada United States Caribbean Latin America Australia

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