LAKELAND — Michigan-based medical technology and supply company Stryker is laying off 532 employees in the next two years as it closes and unwinds its Lakeland production facility.
The company, in a letter to state officials, says the facility will permanently close by Dec. 31, 2023. The first wave of layoffs will begin Dec. 31 of this year with 26 job cuts.
“Stryker expects to eliminate another 497 positions on a rolling basis by” the end of 2023, Sanita Pinchback, senior director of human resources, says in the letter. The letter was sent to the state to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act requirements.
A Stryker spokeswoman says in an email that the company "constantly evaluates our business to ensure our resources are aligned to drive growth, serve our customers and increase operating efficiencies in a complex global environment."
"After a careful and detailed analysis, we have decided to close our Lakeland, Florida, facility and move these operations to other Stryker locations," she says, adding that "People are one of our most important values and we will support impacted employees throughout the closure process."
According to its website, Stryker is “one of the world’s leading medical technology companies” offering “innovative products and services in orthopedics, medical and surgical and neurotechnology and spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes.” It has about 43,000 employees worldwide, about 24,000 of those in the U.S., and its 2020 sales topped $14 billion.
Stryker, with its facility located at 5300 Region Court in Lakeland, is listed as one of the top employers in Polk County, according to a ranking by the Central Florida Development Council. It’s No. 26, behind companies like Publix Super Markets, Rooms-to-Go and Amazon.
In the letter to the state, Pinchback refers to the company as Stryker Employment Company LLC, but her email address corresponds to the web address used by the medical supply company, the logo on the letterhead matches the medical supply company and the LLC is registered to the same address as the global headquarters for the medical supply company.