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JDSU to cut 125 jobs at Santa Rosa unit

JDSU announced plans Wednesday to lay off 125 people in its optical products division, ending production of some high-tech components that have been made in Sonoma County for more than four decades.

The restructuring will allow JDSU to focus on the division's "best growth opportunities," said Luke Scrivanich, a senior vice president and general manager for the Santa Rosa division.

Most of the layoffs will occur in Sonoma County, where JDSU employs 451 workers, Scrivanich said. He declined to provide a more specific number of affected workers. Overall, the Santa Rosa-based Optical Security and Performance Products division employs 621 people worldwide.

The layoffs were triggered by a decision to stop manufacturing certain products that are at the end of their life cycle, Scrivanich said.

The division's strongest segments are color-shifting pigments used on currency and precision optical devices, he said. The latter including components for gesture recognition systems now offered in a few smart televisions and other devices.

The decision to do away with older products, while difficult in the short term, would "enable us to ensure success in those key markets," Scrivanich said.

Workers at the facility in southwest Santa Rosa learned Wednesday of the impending layoffs, he said. The first group of workers could receive layoff notices as early as this week.

The layoffs are slated to take place over the next six months. Employees will be offered severance pay and job placement services, the company said.

The optical products division reported revenues of $51.9 million for the quarter ending March 30, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. Scrivanich said declining sales for the products being eliminated "were masking" the growth in the division's stronger segments.

The products slated for termination include front surface mirrors and components with antireflective coatings that are used in scanners, printers and photo copiers. Other products are solar cell covers used in satellites and coated infrared filters used in devices that measure temperatures or gases.


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