Heidenhain Corp. latest to announce closure in Ellicott

ELLICOTT — Almost 40 employees at an Ellicott optics and electronics business will lose their jobs when operations are moved elsewhere, a filing with the state Department of Labor said last week.

The 39 layoffs at Heidenhain Corp., based in Schaumburg, Ill., was first reported by Buffalo Business First and will take place Oct. 1. The plant closing will impact all workers at the facility — located at 1 Precision Way — as operations are moved to Illinois and Austria, according to the state layoff notice.

A message to the company was not returned Wednesday seeking comment.

The news comes after MD Electronics, also located on Precision Way, announced in September its was closing and moving business to Mexico. The company employs 87 workers.

Patrick McLaughlin, Ellicott town supervisor, said he was unaware of Heidenhain’s planned closing when informed Wednesday afternoon.

“If this in fact is the case, it’s just more bad news following Sam’s Club and the fitness club,” McLaughlin said. “It’s just more employees who will be looking for work, and that’s not good.”

Sam’s Club closed dozens of its warehouse stores earlier this year. The sudden news caught many employees, customers and local officials off guard.

Snap Fitness, with locations in Ellicott and Jamestown, closed its doors last month. The owner said he had no plans to reopen either location.

McLaughlin said he planned to contact the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency to discuss Heidenhain.

“It sounds like a decision has already been made if the state was notified, but we’d want to let them know that the town will do anything it can to get them to stay,” McLaughlin said.

Congressman Tom Reed, R-Corning, said he is working with county officials to limit the number of jobs that leave the area.

“We care about protecting jobs in our region and are concerned with (Wednesday’s) announcement from the Heidenhain Corporation,” Reed said. “We are working with County Executive (George) Borrello to help protect as many jobs as possible in our region and to grow our economy. Our office stands ready to assist any employees affected by this announcement.”