Honeywell sending jobs to China

Employees at Skaneateles Falls' Honeywell Imaging and Mobility manufacturing facility received somber news last Thursday, Aug. 7 that close to 300 jobs will be phased out to China beginning in October.

According to Kevin Jost, vice president of security strategy, the company acquired Metrologic Instruments, Inc. in July. Honeywell had previously purchased Hand Held Products in December 2007. Jost said the company now expects to transition the manufacturing portion of the business to China within the next year.

"It was through various input we arrived at the conclusion that we could not remain a competitor," Jost said.

Because of the facility's inability to remain competitive and the decision to move jobs overseas, Jost said within the next nine to 12 months 290 people will be losing their jobs. The ultimate decision is "really everything to do with globalization," he said.

"This is obviously very, very difficult for us. This is not an action we have ever had to take," said Jost, himself a 36-year employee with the company.

Former town of Skaneateles supervisor Bill Pavlus said the manufacturer "seemed to be doing plenty of business" and often the facility runs shifts on weekends to meet the demands of the consumer.

"To meet production they would have to work overtime, work Saturday," he said.

Pavlus said he was in office when Hand Held Products separated from its parent company, Welch Allyn, and also when Visions Drive was put in to accommodate the facility. The town was also responsible for obtaining $350,000 in funding from Rep. James Walsh to replace the water lines from the reservoir to Mottville, reducing the number of water main breaks that occur, Pavlus said.

Despite the work Pavlus put into helping the facility as a town leader, the closure hits extremely close to home. Mike Crary, Pavlus' son-in-law, received word along with many of his coworkers he would be without a job within a year.

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