Tariffs to blame for HealthWay layoffs: Your Stories

Local News

PULASKI, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Layoffs at HealthWay Family Brands in Pulaski were brought to the attention of the Your Stories team.

The company’s Global President sat down with NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla saying it’s true. Though it wasn’t an easy decision, it’s one he blames on tariffs.

The HealthWay Family of Brands has been purifying air worldwide by building products in Pulaski. But because of Chinese imposed tariffs, one of its product lines will now be built overseas and the employees who used to build them here are out of a job.

“This is something that’s never easy for anybody,” said Lobdell.

It’s a decision he says he didn’t want to make.

“We’ve invested everything we’ve built and made in that community and so it’s a tough time for us as well,” he said.

They’re still building products in Pulaski, just not for the Intellipure product line.

“Tariffs, especially for smaller companies, have a significant impact,” said Lobdell. “Importing that motor now carries a 25 percent tariff, where if we import the complete product, it doesn’t have a tariff at all.”

Lobdell says the company tried to keep the line here. They put two tariff exclusion requests into the federal government, but both were denied.

Even though the business is growing, it’s not enough to make up for that 25 percent tax.

“We got roughly a 30 percent growth this year, but it’s just not economically feasible to carry the line if we can’t manufacture it and be competitive in the marketplace,” said Lobdell.

Right now, Lobdell says there are no immediate plans for more layoffs, but he can’t rule it out in the future.

“Our goal is always to invest back in the community and people are the biggest part of our community and so our goal is to certainly to hire as many people as we possibly can and build new facilities. But until we better understand what’s happening with the tariffs, I couldn’t make that decision,” said Lobdell.

So they’ll keep working away here building as many products as they can in Pulaski and continuing to support the community while they focus on stabilizing this product line.

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla

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