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Texas tech company to cut 58 jobs at Pinellas manufacturing facility

DZS Inc.’s shift to an outside manufacturing partner leads to dozens of layoffs at its Seminole plant.
Networking technology maker DZS Inc. is cutting 58 jobs at its Seminole manufacturing plant after outsourcing those operations to an independent company.
Networking technology maker DZS Inc. is cutting 58 jobs at its Seminole manufacturing plant after outsourcing those operations to an independent company. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Oct. 5|Updated Oct. 5

A Texas maker of networking equipment and software is cutting 58 jobs from its Seminole manufacturing plant after outsourcing those operations to an independent contractor.

Dallas-based DZS Inc. announced Wednesday that the move would help the company “meet customer demand and deliver on a growing backlog that has increased more than 300% since 2020,” CEO Charlie Vogt said in a statement.

Layoffs at the Seminole facility at 7340 Bryan Dairy Road are expected to begin Dec. 5 and run through the new year. DZS aims to have its manufacturing, testing and order fulfillment services up and running with its new partner, Cayman Islands-based Fabrinet, by Jan. 1.

Fabrinet president and chief operating officer Harpal Gill said in a statement that the move would make DZS more efficient and boost its bottom line as it produces optical, broadband and cloud computing products and software.

“The overhead of a manufacturing facility, including maintenance and equipment costs, can severely impact an organization’s balance sheet and slow innovation and execution,” Gill said.

DZS estimates the 58 Seminole layoffs account for about two-thirds of its workforce there. Those that remain will be relocated. For the rest, the company intends to offer job placement support.

“We are extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication the Seminole-based employees have shown DZS over the years, and the leadership team is committed to assisting them in their efforts to transition to other roles or find new employment once their tenure ends,” DZS senior vice president for global supply chain Norman Foust said in a statement. “This strategic shift to contract manufacturing is necessary to give DZS the ability to scale to meet our growth targets in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa … over the next several years.”

DZS is the second company to announce nearly 60 Pinellas County layoffs in the past two weeks. On Sept. 23, St. Petersburg’s BayFirst Financial told the state it was closing its Clearwater office and cutting 58 jobs because of slumping performance in its residential mortgage division. BayFirst is also laying off an additional 20 employees in Tampa, Boca Raton, Kissimmee and Clermont.

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