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Micro Power Electronics laying off 140 workers

Beaverton maker of battery technology will reduce workforce through March 2016


Not all economic news is good news these days, including formal notification to state officials that Micro Power Electronics will lay off about 140 employees at its Beaverton location near the end of the year.

The first layoffs were expected to begin 60 days following Oct. 30, with additional job losses continuing through March for the final total, according to a letter dated that day that parent company Greatbatch sent to Laura Roberts of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. State officials dated their receipt of the letter Nov. 6.

The notification letter, signed by Greatbatch's New York-based director of human services, Cathy Herzog, said the company provided affected employees with information about severence and retention packages.

This letter did not give a specific reason for the layoffs, but it was not unexpected because Greatbatch had announced in spring 2014 that it intended to move its Beaverton manufacturing to Mexico by 2016.

Just one day earlier, in a report to investors, Greatbatch noted a 15 percent decrease -- about $25 million -- in sales from October 2014 to this October.

In December, 2011, Greatbatch announced that its subsidiary company Electrochem Solutions Inc. was buying Micro Power Electronics for $60 million in cash and assumed debt.

At that time Greatbatch officials described the new acquisition this way:

"Micro Power, headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, is a leading supplier of custom battery solutions, serving the portable medical market as well as military and handheld automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) markets. Micro Power’s highly respected commercial portfolio complements products and services offered by Electrochem for the portable medical, energy, military and environmental industries."

Micro Power is located at 13955 S.W. Millikan Way, Beaverton.