Williams Controls to Cut 57 Jobs in Portland, Oregon

Williams Controls Inc., a maker of parts for trucks, will eliminate 57 jobs as it ends certain manufacturing and assembly operations in Portland, Oregon, and moves the work to Asia.

The cuts represent about 27 percent of the company's worldwide workforce of about 210. Williams will retain about 130 jobs at its Portland headquarters, down from about 190 currently, Chief Financial Officer Dennis Bunday said in a telephone interview.

``We will be retaining in Portland all our high-skilled engineering, finance and administration positions, as well as our sensor-development program,'' Bunday said. The company plans to invest in the development of new pedal systems and sensors in Portland, which may add some jobs, he said.

Williams's die-casting and machining operations will be handled by suppliers, primarily in Asia, the company said in a statement. It plans to move pneumatic-products assembly to Suzhou, China, to be closer to those suppliers.

The moves will cost about $3 million before taxes, Bunday said. He declined to disclose the company's projected savings.

Shares of Williams Controls rose 3 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.07 in over-the-counter trading today. They have risen 75 percent in the past year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Margot Habiby in Dallas at mhabiby@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Glenn Holdcraft at gholdcraft@bloomberg.net.

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