Steuben Glass Announces Layoffs

February 25, 2010 – Steuben Glass announced today that it is restructuring and will begin laying off an undetermined number of employees this summer. Steuben Glass’s chief operating officer, Mark Samitt, said the plans were announced internally Wednesday.

“We will be going through a restructuring program that will allow Steuben Glass to appeal to a wider customer base, provide quality products at a value and reposition the company to be profitable,” Samitt said.

Included in the program, to be rolled out by mid-summer, is the outsourcing of some existing products that will mean the loss of some current manufacturing jobs at Steuben Glass. Samitt said Steuben Glass employs about 100 workers. The number to be affected by layoffs won’t be known until later this year.

Steuben Glass is working with Corning Inc. to provide opportunities for those who will be losing their jobs. Like the hourly workers employed at Corning Inc.’s local manufacturing operations, Steuben’s hourly workers are represented by the United Steelworkers of America Local 1000.

“We are planning to continue the plant operation and production in Corning after the restructuring, and Corning Inc. is supportive of the effort,” Samitt said.

Steuben Glass was sold in July 2008 because it lost $30 million over a five-year period and didn’t fit with Corning’s high-tech industrial products portfolio. Those money woes, Samitt said, are apparently still at work.

“We looked at the market contraction, and the recent sustained downturn has had a significant negative impact. That is why we are taking these steps to position us for growth,” Samitt said.

Steuben Glass’s crystal pieces are manufactured at Corning’s Museum of Glass. Steuben also operates a retail store in Corning, as well as customer service, shipping and other functions.

Although the manufacturing operation will bear the brunt of the job cuts, Samitt said the company’s strategy will “provide the best potential to compete and grow in the crystal glass category, while providing value to the customers.”

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