2/22/2013 7:53:56 AM
Abbott Vascular shed another 450 employees Thursday, Feb. 21, continuing a series of job cuts that began last year. Abbott spokesman Jonathon Hamilton said the majority of the layoffs affected manufacturing and support services at the Temecula plant located on Ynez Road. Some layoffs, however, also hit the French Valley packaging and distribution center known as Zevo. The medical device manufacturer now has a workforce of about 2,000, a loss of 1,000 jobs since January 2012. The company on Thursday also eliminated 200 positions from a plant in Ireland, Hamilton said. Those let go were given severance packages, outplacement assistance and the opportunity to apply for vacant company positions, he said. “This is a largely a continuation of what we did previously and it’s to improve efficiency,” Hamilton said in a phone interview Thursday from the company’s San Jose offices. Following the layoffs, Abbott is now the third largest employer in the city, according to the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce. Pechanga Resort and Casino (approximately 3,800 employees) and the Temecula Valley Unified School District (2,600 employees) hold the top positions. Alice Sullivan, president of the Chamber, said she was informed of the layoffs Thursday by an Abbott representative who serves on the Chamber Board of Directors. Although disappointing, Sullivan said Temecula is on the brink of welcoming a new hospital — Temecula Valley Hospital is scheduled to open to the public in the fall — and other businesses that should help stop the bleeding of job losses.