A pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor is laying off 36 employees in Largo and expects to cut even more jobs next year, the third time in three weeks a company has announced layoffs in Pinellas County.
The company this time is VistaPharm, a maker of generic drugs. In a letter to the state it says the cuts are a result of its sale to PAI Pharma in South Carolina.
VistaPharm says in the letter that “products and equipment will be moved to Greenville from Largo as it has been determined to be more cost effective and efficient to operate from the South Carolina facility.”
The lays off are scheduled to begin in January, but the company warned that more layoffs are expected at some point next year. VistaPharm currently employs 177 people in Largo and says “many” of the remaining employees will be offered positions in South Carolina.
The letter was sent to meet WARN Notice requirements. Federal law requires companies to provide states with Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification notices when making job cuts.
Neither company’s website details the transaction, though VistaPharm has a link directing clients to PAI and announcing it is now part of the company.
VistaPharm is the third company with a Pinellas presence since Sept. 30 to announce it is laying off employees.
The first was BayFirst Financial, which is slashing 58 jobs in Florida and an additional 20 in Maryland. Then on Oct. 4, DSZ Inc., a telecommunications company, announced it too was eliminating 58 jobs.
While the numbers aren’t high, unless you are one of those losing your job, it will be interesting to see if what Pinellas’ job market is experiencing is a coincidence, a streak of bad luck, a pattern or a sign of things to come.