Make us your home page

275 to lose jobs as Medline closes Pinellas Park plant

PINELLAS PARK — A health care products manufacturer is closing its local plant and laying off 275 workers, according to a company spokesman.

Pinellas Park Mayor Bill Mischler found out a week or two ago when Medline Industries plant manager Tron Armstrong called him to say he would be telling the employees the bad news. Then, on June 4, the company sent a letter to the city giving official notification of the plant closing and layoffs.

Company spokesman Jerreau Beaudoin blamed the downturn in the economy for the shutdown of the Pinellas Park plant, where Medline makes surgical procedure trays.

"We're like every other health care company right now," Beaudoin said.

Mischler called it "a tremendous loss to our economy in Pinellas Park. It's a sign of the times."

Mischler said Armstrong told him that while the news was tough to deliver, the announcement at the plant went smoothly. Armstrong had worked with some of the employees for 25 years, the mayor said.

"I'm sure it was a personal blow to him," Mischler said.

Mischler added that not only employees suffer when layoffs occur — they affect families and everyone else as the loss to the economy ripples outward.

"That's the hard part to me," he said. "Where are these people finding jobs?"

Layoffs will begin Aug. 6 and end Oct. 15. The layoffs include all workers at the plant, from line personnel through engineers, receptionists and administrative employees.

Medline, based in Mundelein, Ill., is the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of health care products, according to the company website. It distributes more than 100,000 health care items to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies. The company says that over the past five years, Medline has been the fastest growing distributor of medical and surgical supplies in the United States, serving as the primary distributor to more than 450 major hospitals and health care facilities.

It has factories in the United States and Mexico. Earlier this year, according to the website, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Arthur Mutambara visited the company to discuss opportunities for the company to distribute or manufacture its medical supplies in that African nation.

Beaudoin said the company would absorb the production of the Pinellas Park plant into other facilities to make the company more efficient.

Medline bought the Pinellas Park property, at 4750 118th Ave. N, in 2003 from Maxxim Medical Group, which had declared bankruptcy, for about $4.07 million. The 9-acre property, with a 109,000-square-foot building, is valued at about $5 million today, according to the Pinellas County Property Appraiser.

Pinellas Park records do not show that any incentives were given to Medline to encourage the company to locate in the city.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at or (727) 893-8450.

275 to lose jobs as Medline closes Pinellas Park plant 06/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 10:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times


    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]