LANSING, N.Y. – A Lansing technology firm is planning major layoffs by the end of this year.

MACOM Technology Solutions Inc., a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, is planning to lay off dozens at its facilities in the Cornell Business Park near the airport. According to a WARN posting filed with the New York State Department of Labor, 25 of 56 staff will be laid off from its office at 20 Thornwood Drive, and 22 of 24 staff will be laid off from its facility just up the street at 9 Brown Road. The layoffs are expected to be completed by January 4, 2019.

The notice states that the layoffs are for “economic” reasons, and the Massachusetts-based company has recently struggled to find success. Company sales have faltered in the latest quarter and over the past year, and MACOM’s stock has been sinking in value, down 65% over the past twelve months. MACOM carried out layoffs at its Belfast, Northern Ireland office at the end of last year. About 1,800 people worldwide were employed by MACOM before the latest round of layoffs.

The Lansing location was previously the headquarters of BinOptics, which was founded in 2000 as a spin-off business by Cornell researchers. The facility specialized in the development and manufacturing of semiconductor microchip lasers for equipment in the data and telecommunications industries that use light energy, rather than electricity.

MACOM acquired BinOptics in a $230 million all-cash deal back in November 2014. At the time, BinOptics employed 143 staff in Lansing, and was planning a major expansion that would have added nearly 100 more jobs. The company had secured a tax abatement from the county IDA, and had plans to expand its facilities.

However, things did not work out as planned. The expansion was contingent on the expansion of the natural gas pipeline to service the facility. When it became clear that the pipeline was not going to expanded, the plant expansion was cancelled and MACOM decided to expand its plant in Massachusetts instead. While electric heat pumps have proven to be a popular alternative for residential development, they are not yet cost efficient for the greater energy needs of large-scale manufacturing and research operations. For the record, the tax abatement was never used, since no expansion happened.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.