Silfex’s plants in Eaton, Springfield face layoffs

Parent company Lam Research laying off 7 percent of its workforce globally.

Lam Research, a microchip company based in Fremont, California, will cut 7% of its workforce globally, according to a company spokesperson, including local cuts.

Silfex, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lam Research, has locations in Springfield and Eaton where local employees are also feeling impacts from the layoffs. Silfex makes the parts used in the equipment semiconductor manufacturers use to make chips.

A spokesperson from Lam Research said the decision to reduce its global workforce by 7%, resulting in approximately 1,300 layoffs, was due to recent trade restrictions with China and an anticipated decline in global spending on wafer fabrication equipment, a type of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, in 2023.

The spokesperson said there will be an impact to Silfex but the facilities remain operational. No details on how many local employees will be laid off were provided.

The report of layoffs came following a quarterly financial conference call and webcast on Wednesday. Lam Research reported its revenue for the December 2022 quarter as $5.28 billion.

“Lam closed out 2022 with record revenue and earnings per share for both the December quarter and calendar year, despite supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures,” said Tim Archer, Lam Research’s president and CEO said in a press release about the quarterly earnings. “Given the decline in wafer fabrication equipment spending expected in calendar year 2023, we are taking proactive steps to lower our cost structure and drive efficiencies across our global footprint, while preserving critical R&D (research and development). With these actions, Lam is focused on accelerating our strategic priorities to capitalize on the semiconductor industry’s long-term growth prospects.”

In October, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, visited the Silfex’s Springfield location to talk about the benefits of the federal CHIPS Act, which was passed last summer. It provided approximately $280 billion in new funding for domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the U.S.

“America invented the semiconductor. Yet today, 90% of them are made overseas. That ends now,” Brown said in October. “Places like Silfex and Lam Research recognized the threat from foreign companies stealing our ideas. They bucked the trend and brought silicon growing and processing back to the U.S. and now we are creating an economy that puts American jobs and American production and American workers first.”

This newspaper has reached out to Brown’s office for comment.

About the Author