A major employer in Commerce announced last week that it will close its local facility next year.

On May 26, Covidien announced that it will close its Commerce plant in an effort to maximize efficiency. The first round of layoffs is slated to begin in September 2012.

The final closure is scheduled for December 2012.

The 300,000 square-foot Covidien plant was formerly operated by Tyco Healthcare, which opened in 1974.

The plant currently manufactures syringes and needles and the products are produced for the Covidien brand Kendall.

The products are used in healthcare facilities worldwide. They are used in a variety of settings, including veterinary, safety, spinal, dental and by hypodermic needle customers.

The Commerce plant operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The plant operates on three shifts manned by more than 300 full-time employees. Of those employees, approximately one-third live in Commerce while the remaining live within a 50-mile radius of the plant.

According to Covidien officials, the closure of the Commerce plant is part of a restructuring initiative began by Covidien in 2008. The initiative is intended to reduce annual expenses by $50 to 75 million. The production at the Commerce plant will be transferred to other plants in the United States.

Employees are eligible to apply for other positions within the company. However, there are no other Covidien plants in Texas.

Covidien is based in Dublin, Ireland with more than $10 billion annually in global sales. The company’s United States headquarters is located in Mansfield, Mass.

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