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CaridianBCT laying off workers in Lakewood and Europe

By Ann Schrader
The Denver Post
Posted: 04/10/2009 12:30:00 AM MDT

More than 200 employees of CaridianBCT Inc., a Lakewood-based provider of blood products and services, were laid off this week, the company confirmed Thursday.

Of those laid off, 196 work in Lakewood and 13 work in Europe. CaridianBCT does business in 96 countries and has 2,400 total employees. About 1,800 work in Lakewood.

Roughly half of those terminated worked in CaridianBCT's manufacturing area, and the other half were office personnel and managers.

The workforce reduction, which began Wednesday morning and was to conclude this morning, "is in response to the current economic climate," said company spokeswoman Lisa Hayes.

Employees will receive severance depending on their length of service, Hayes said. Some employees left immediately, and others will leave over the next few weeks.

The layoffs are part of a restructuring "to reduce operating costs, pace new product development spending and refocus our commercializative initiatives for emerging technologies," David Perez, president and chief executive, said in a statement.

CaridianBCT is experiencing single-digit growth, not the double-digit growth it had last year when about 500 new employees were hired.

Hayes said there has been "solid growth" in the company, which makes blood-collection equipment and disposable bags, but that the adoption of new products has been slow.

In addition, "blood banks and hospitals are being challenged because the demand for blood products is down," Hayes said, noting that elective surgeries have dropped and blood donations are down.

CaridianBCT began as Cobe Laboratories in 1964 and became Gam bro BCT in 1990 and CaridianBCT last year. Ann Schrader, The Denver Post