PITTSBURG — EaglePicher announced earlier this week they have laid off about 90 workers in the Joplin area. Approximately 20 of those jobs will be coming to the Pittsburg location, however.

“For over 170 years, EaglePicher has adapted to changing business conditions to remain competitive on a global scale,” an official statement from the company says. “We are continually improving our processes to accelerate our position as a market leader in our industry. On May 25, 2016 we experienced a reduction in our local workforce consistent with our manufacturing improvement plan. We appreciate the contributions of those individuals impacted and we are working to help them transition professionally and personally.”

Human Resources Vice President Sean Parker said the reductions are part of a program to increase the efficiency of EaglePicher’s operations.

The 20 jobs being added at the Pittsburg thermal battery plant are because Pittsburg is “a little further along in the evolution.”

Parker said as the company becomes more competitive those 90 jobs will likely be added back.

He said the Pittsburg positions have been posted internally and preference will be given to the workers laid off in the Joplin area.

Pittsburg Economic Development Director Blake Benson said he was pleased by the additions to the Pittsburg workforce.

“We’re appreciative of the company’s decision to add jobs at the Pittsburg facility,” hesaid. “EaglePicher has been a tremendous corporate citizen in Pittsburg for over ten years and it’s great to see them continue growing here.”

Eaglepicher Technologies, LLC, a Vectra company, is a leading producer of batteries and energetic devices for the defense, aerospace, medical, commercial, oil, and gas industries.

— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at prichardson@morningsun.net, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.