Elkhart auto parts maker cutting corporate staff jobs

The move stems from sale of unit, requiring less corporate staff locally.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 5:58 p.m.

Elkhart-based CTS Corp. is eliminating 10 corporate staff jobs and offering three or four more workers the opportunity to relocate from Elkhart to the company’s Lisle, Ill. offices, the company announced Friday, July 18.

The restructuring stems from the automotive parts maker’s sale in October of its electronic manufacturing solutions business to Benchmark Electronics Inc., said Bob Patton, vice president, general counsel and secretary.The deal includes about 1,000 workers and five manufacturing plants in Moorepark, Calif.; San Jose, Calif.; Londonberry, N.H.; Matamoros, Mexico; and Bangkok, Thailand.

As that sale comes to a close, the amount of support needed from certain corporate functions in Elkhart will be reduced. The jobs, in the Elkhart corporate office’s CFO, corporate controller, accounting and tax departments, will be phased out over the next six months, according to a statement the company posted Friday on its internal employee web portal.

Once those jobs are eliminated, 25 corporate positions will remain in Elkhart, in treasury, accounts payable, accounts receivable, internal audit and human resources.

"This was an extremely difficult decision given the impact on some of our employees here in Elkhart,” CEO Kieran O’Sullivan said in a statement. “This restructuring is necessary, however, to make CTS a stronger, more focused, and more efficient company for the future.”

The news comes 11 days after the Elkhart City Council gave initial approval to a tax abatement request on a $2.2 million investment CTS plans. It would add a new production line to make electronic accelerators, creating 14 production jobs paying an average of $50,000 a year by 2017 or 2018.

CTS employs 401 people in Elkhart, excluding the 35 corporate staff. Of the 401, about 250 are directly related to its manufacturing plant and the remainder are with its automotive group. Factoring all 436 local employees, the job cuts amount to a 1-percent reduction in the Elkhart staff, Patton noted.

"To be clear,” O’Sullivan said in the statement, “CTS continues to be committed to, and proud of, its Elkhart manufacturing facility, and its Elkhart-based corporate staff and automotive product development and engineering team.”


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