Ruud Lighting cuts jobs; LED division cushions blow

Ruud Lighting has laid off about 50 of its nearly 600 employees. Company President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Ruud says the collapse of the construction industry forced the actions. He says the company is restructuring and the layoffs are considered permanent.

The privately owned Ruud Lighting, 9201 Highway 20, makes lighting fixtures for commercial, industrial, institutional and residential settings. The dearth of construction work during the recession has sapped sales, Ruud says.

Ruud Lighting had a “reasonably” good year in 2008, but construction-related orders dropped dramatically. Two factors kept the restructuring from being far more severe, Ruud says. One was the company’s strong position as a designer and producer of LED light fixtures. He says LED holds out promise for future orders, but many potential buyers are holding back.

He comments, “This is the most uncertain time I’ve ever seen in business,” in 40 years. “I would be very depressed — more than I am — if we didn’t have that activity in LED lighting.”

The other factor that mitigated job cuts was demand for fluorescent high-bay industrial lighting for factories, warehouses and large industrial uses, Ruud says. Many utilities offer rebates to encourage conversion to the energy-saving lights.

The workers laid off will receive severance packages and outplacement services, Ruud says.

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