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Positronic moving Springfield jobs to Mount Vernon

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Springfield-based Positronic Industries Inc., which manufactures electronic connectors and cable assemblies, has set in motion plans to move 81 jobs from its Springfield plants to its Mount Vernon facility, effective Jan. 1.

The jobs - mostly assemblers but also inventory and quality assurance positions - are moving as part of the company's plan to consolidate its connector assembly line, according to Michael West, North America facilities manager for Positronic.

"The Mount Vernon plant was built by Positronic for assembly and our modeling operation. When we looked at combining, that facility is just much more suited for assembly work," West said, noting the company's Springfield connector plant at 425 N. Campbell Ave. was built in the 1800s and doesn't have the same amenities as the Mount Vernon plant.

Of the 81 jobs, about 65 are moving from the North Campbell location, while the rest are coming from the company's plant at 1325 N. Eldon Ave.

West said the affected employees, who were informed of the decision Oct. 27, can keep their jobs if they are willing to work at the Mount Vernon facility at 601 W. Hayward Drive, which is 33 miles from Springfield. Positronic is in the process of determining which employees will keep their jobs and is looking at possible incentives for the employees, such as mileage stipends.

"We've only done one informal poll, and we have so many maybes," he said. "I think we're at least a few weeks away from ironing out who is and who is not going."

West said the company is treading lightly in determining which incentives could be offered, as some, such as commuter miles, typically aren't deductible with the Internal Revenue Service.

Currently, Positronic employs 250 in Springfield and 78 in Mount Vernon, West said. The company, which recorded 2010 revenues of roughly $70 million, has 800 employees worldwide, including those in its European and Asian operations, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

According to SBJ's list of the area's largest manufacturing employers, which is scheduled to be printed in the Nov. 21 print edition, the company has 346 local employees, compared to 445 employees when the list was printed in November 2010.[[In-content Ad]]

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