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Celestica to increase Toronto workforce by 40%

Company plans to restructure and diversify customer base


April 25, 2011
by The Canadian Press

TORONTO—Celestica Inc. will increase its Toronto workforce by 40 per cent as demand for the company’s manufacturing services picks up, says chief executive Craig Muhlhauser.

The Toronto‑based electronics producer will add 400 jobs to its existing workforce of 1,000 in Toronto as part of a plan to restructure and diversify its customer base.

The Toronto plant, which originally focused on computers and telecom equipment, has become a manufacturing hub for the company’s newer segments that include aerospace and defence, inverters, clean technology and aftermarket services.

“If we didn’t have this transformation in Toronto, we would be laying off 300 people,” says Muhlhauser. “We are going to be keeping those jobs and we are adding another 400.”

He added that the company is just starting a hiring process that will pick up along with an expected increase in demand. The company employs more than 35,000 people worldwide.

The hiring plans in Toronto reverse a nearly decade long move that saw tens of thousands of workers lose their jobs—mostly in higher-cost countries in North America and Western Europe—as Celestica moved operations to lower-cost countries.

Most of its Canadian operations were consolidated at its Don Mills campus in Toronto as the company downsized to cope with a slowdown in the IT and communications sector, which accounted for more than 90 per cent of its business in the early 2000s.

Muhlhauser says the company is determined to rebuild from where it was founded as it worked through a painful restructuring, even though the easier solution would have been to close the Toronto facility.

Celestica reported its first quarter net income at US$30 million or 14 cents per share last week. That compared with $28.5 million or 12 cents a year ago.