I Team 10 Follow Up: Bracing for layoffs at Bausch + Lomb

Posted at: 07/30/2013 5:29 PM
Updated at: 07/30/2013 7:22 PM

Workforce development agencies in town are preparing to help any workers who might be impacted by the pending sale of Bausch + Lomb.

As News10NBC has been reporting since last week, Greater Rochester Enterprise says it's preparing for up to 1000 job cuts at Bausch + Lomb. And yesterday the CEO for the company buying B + L confirmed there will be layoffs ... but stopped short of specifying where.

We should have a better idea next week about just how many local Bausch on Lomb workers could be impacted by potentially devastating job cuts. That's when the deal by Valeant Pharmaceutical to buy B + L is expected to close.

But experts say to those concerned about their job security, the time to formulate a plan is now.

When I-Team 10 broke the story last week of potentially drastic job cuts looming at the eye care company, it was Mark Peterson of Greater Rochester enterprise who told us they were bracing for up to 1000 layoffs.

"We will absorb those jobs," said Peterson today. "The issue is how quickly can an economy this size absorb that kind of job loss. One thousand people is a big number."

While Valeant hasn't specified how many cuts will occur in Rochester just yet, the new ownership's letter to employees yesterday verified that major cost reductions are coming soon. And Peterson's hope now is that GRE can help soften the landing for anyone impacted.

"You know, the biggest thing we can do is act as a sort of a resource to get the information out to folks who are displaced about opportunities for services that may be out there," he said.

One of those services is Rochester Works, a workforce development and career training agency. We asked Executive Director Peter Pecor what he would tell anyone concerned about their job.
"I would tell them first of all, go to our website, " said Pecor. "And better off getting registered now, schedule themselves for some workshops. they can meet with career counselors one on one. they don't have to wait til they're notified. they should really become engaged as quickly as possible."

Pecor also says laid off workers should start their search with a positive attitude, build a financial plan to withstand a pending unemployment and have flexible expectations.

"Well, they obviously have to ask themselves what is their next step? what are they going to do now? many of them, depending on the nature of their responsibilities, are they going to be able to find a position with a similar type of responsibility or do they have to start widening their vision as far as looking at careers they maybe never thought of before," said Pecor.

GRE's Peterson says if there are massive cuts here, he hopes Valeant will stretch the layoffs over a longer period of time, to give the Rochester economy a chance to absorb the cuts, but he says Bausch + Lomb workers should be prepared.

"The sooner they get over the shock and get on with their job search, the sooner we can find them new opportunities in our community so they can stay and we can continue to grow."

Given that GRE's mission is to bring new business to town, Peterson did offer a positive spin, and that's this: They might potentially get some companies that will have an interest in the B + L talent that resides here and that could lead those companies to more quickly decide on an expansion or to open an operation here.