A round of layoffs is coming to one of Wallingford's largest employers. Drug research company Bristol-Myers Squibb filed a warn notice with the state's Department of Labor after announcing plans to close its Wallingford site in early 2018, according to a statement from the company.
The company made the announcement about the closure back in June as it builds a research site in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but the community could feel the impact of layoffs before 2018.
About 100 jobs are being eliminated, but many employees are also being offered the choice of relocating to taking advantage of severance benefits if they don't want to do so, according to Bristol-Meyers Squibb.
"Employees who do not wish to relocate to a work location may be eligible for severance benefits in accordance with the terms of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Severance Plan," Sarah Koenig, a spokesperson for Bristol Myers said in a written statement released to NBC Connecticut. "Additionally, we also indicated that approximately 100 jobs would be eliminated as a result of the company exiting our virology discovery efforts."
One woman NBC Connecticut spoke to, Elaine Mcdunnah, said that her best friend has worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb for more than 10 years.
With news about layoffs, Mcdunnah is concerned her friend could lose her job as a senior administrator.
"I’m also concerned for the town of Wallingford Bristol-Myers Squibb is not the largest one of the top taxpayers for the town I’m also concerned about all the jobs that will be lost," Mcdunnah said.
In June, company officials said they would relocate up to 200 employees from Wallingford and Waltham, Massachusetts sites, as well as a limited number from its central New Jersey locations.
Up to 500 employees will also be relocating to a new location in Connecticut, a news release from the company in June said.
The Wallingford facility has been dedicated to drug discovery and drug development activities within the Research and Development. It included applied biotechnology, applied genomics, chemistry, clinical research, metabolism & pharmacokinetics, neuroscience and virology departments.
In the June announcement, the company also said it plans to discontinue “discovery research efforts in virology,” but this does not impact the “company’s promising ongoing clinical development program in virology, nor does it impact the company’s marketed products in virology.”
“In addition to investments in central New Jersey, our new location in Cambridge and our expanding presence in the San Francisco Bay area positions the company and our scientists in the heart of vibrant ecosystems of world class science, innovation and business opportunities, which offer ideal environments for fostering external collaboration,” Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer for Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a statement in June. “Ultimately, our goal is to continue to accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge and insights into the next wave of potentially transformational medicines for patients with serious diseases.”