Roughly 15 people lost good-paying jobs this week at Batavia-based Graham Corp.. The across-the-board cuts were a necessary belt-tightening measure in the midst of a lackluster economy.
That's according to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Glajch, who confirmed the rumored layoffs this afternoon.
"I feel sorry for the workers," he said. "But we needed to adjust to the marketplace in this sluggish economy. Things aren't getting worse, but they aren't getting better either."
It's the second round of job cuts this year. Slightly more than 10 percent of the engineering and manufacturing company's workforce was eliminated in January.
That amounted to about 30 jobs at a time when the company was facing a 40-percent loss in revenue, the CFO said. Nonetheless, in May it received Empire Zone tax incentives.
It is the rare, if not the only, publicly traded company in Batavia, with offices and a production plant at 20 Florence Ave.. It has been in business since World War II.
It engineers and makes vacuum and heat-transfer equipment that has broad applications, from making synthetic fibers, petroleum products, electric power and fertilizer, to processing food, pharmaceuticals, paper and steel. Half its good are sold abroad.
Things were going great guns for Graham by mid-2008, when it made Business Week's list of the fastest-growing small companies.
China and other foreign markets' thirst for oil in 2007-08 created a robust demand for Graham's goods. Orders placed then continued to have a postive impact on the company's finances over the first three fiscal quarters of 2008-09 (the company's fiscal year runs April 1 through March 31).
At its peak, it had more than 300 employees and its stock was trading at a high of $50.98 a share. Its stock closed today at $14.68 a share.
As with other industries, the orders tapered off and the forecast today is a question mark. Looking ahead, the CFO said he hopes there won't be pink slips come December, but "I can't promise anything, we have to wait and see."