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Rhode Island Manufacturing Jobs with APC Cut

Posted on March 23, 2009

One company’s plan to relocate will result in the loss of several Rhode Island manufacturing jobs.

American Power Conversion recently announced that it plans to move its manufacturing and distribution operations from West Warick, RI, to Middletown, Pa. That move will eliminate 75 Rhode Island jobs. While the company’s manufacturing plant will close by July, its corporate headquarters will stay in West Kingston, RI.

It is thought that 100 jobs in all will be impacted, including 75 positions eliminated and the remainder moved. Employees who are laid off will be offered a severance package, outplacement assistance and transition support. The company’s non-manufacturing employees will be transfered to the West Kingston facility, according to an article by The Providence Journal.

The company hopes that moving its manufacturing operations will allow it to leverage the scale of insourced operations and further take advantage of the logistics infrastructure the new location offers.

American Power Conversion was founded as a start-up by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers in 1981. Since that time, the company has grown to international status and has 12,000 employees. It manufactures equipment to manage power for computers and other electronics, particularly for ensuring an uninterrupted power supply to avoid data losses, hardware damage and downtime. In 2007, American Power Conversion was purchased by Schneider Electric, a French firm.

During January, Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry employed 45,600 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 45,800 workers during December 2008 and an 8.2 percent decrease from last year.

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