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TMCNet:  Avantor lays off about 20 workers [The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)]

[December 08, 2013]

Avantor lays off about 20 workers [The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)]

(Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 07--Avantor Performance Materials, whose move to the Lehigh Valley in 2011 was touted as an economic development victory and aided by a $3 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, has laid off about 20 U.S. workers.

The layoffs are a cost-cutting move designed to ensure "cost and organizational structures are appropriate to support its growth objectives," the company said in an email.

"This was a difficult decision, and we appreciate all of the contributions that our impacted colleagues have made to Avantor," said Richard White, Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO at Avantor. "Their service over the years has been essential in positioning Avantor for future success." Avantor Performance Materials, formerly known as Mallinckrodt Baker, moved 140 employees earning an average of $80,000 a year, from Phillipsburg to a Stabler Corporate Center building in Upper Saucon Township once reserved for vaccine giant Sanofi Pasteur.

At the time, company officials said they planned to hire 60 more employees over the next three years. About 325 workers were to remain at the Phillipsburg manufacturing, research and development plant.

The company would not say where those being laid off work.

In addition to the redevelopment assistance grant, the company secured $600,000 in job-creation tax credits, a $200,000 opportunity grant and $90,000 in job-training assistance.

"As always, we remain committed to growing our company, expanding our footprint and market share, and focusing at all times on meeting the unique needs of our global customers, White said.

Avantor makes materials used in biotechnology and pharmaceutical production, the manufacturing of semiconductors, flat-panel displays and photovoltaic cells. Besides the United States, it has facilities in Mexico, the Netherlands, Korea and Malaysia. 610-820-6745 ___ (c)2013 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) Visit The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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