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Medical manufacturer continues layoffs in Lakeland as facility prepares to shut down

Stryker is laying off 88 more people in Lakeland; nearly 500 will lose their jobs in all.

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LAKELAND — Medical equipment manufacturer Stryker is laying off 88 people in the coming weeks, as part of its plan to cut about 495 employees as it closes its Lakeland facility in 2023.

The layoffs, the second round of planned job cuts, will happen May 31 according to a letter to the state and city from Stryker’s human resources manager Kathy Taylor.

The Michigan-based company began the layoffs Dec. 31, when 22 jobs were cut at its Polk County operation at 5300 Region Court. “Stryker expects to eliminate another 385 positions on a rolling basis by” the end of 2023, Taylor writes in the letter.

The letter was sent to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act requirements. 

The company first announced the layoffs in November in another letter to the state. At the time it said a total of 523 jobs were being eliminated. The current letter doesn’t say why that figured changed in the past few months.

Stryker manufactures products and services in orthopedics, medical and surgical and neurotechnology and spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes. It has about 46,000 employees worldwide and its 2021 sales increased 19.2% from the previous year to $17.1 billion.

Despite its eventual closing, the company is still listed as one of the top employers in Polk County behind companies like Publix Super Markets, Rooms-to-Go and Amazon, according to a ranking by the Central Florida Development Council.

A Stryker spokeswoman told the Business Observer in November 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 wrote, adding that “People are one of our most important values and we will support impacted employees throughout the closure process.”

On April 1, regarding the latest layoffs, a spokeswoman for the company told the Business Observer, "we don’t have anything to add to the statement."



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