Less than ten days after microcontroller manufacturer Microchip Technology was awarded $162 million in funding from the US CHIPS and Science Act, the company has announced it will be furloughing employees at its Gresham, Oregon plant for two weeks in March.

Microchip Technology logo
– Microchip Technology

The temporary shutdown is related to a harsher-than-expected drop in sales for the company, which also floated the possibility of a further two-week furlough period in June.

Of the total funding package allocated to Microchip, $72m had been earmarked to expand the company’s site in Gresham where the company currently employs around 900 workers.

According to a report in the Oregonian, last week the company told investors that due to its customers cutting orders and closing factories, sales were down by 22 percent from the third fiscal quarter of 2023 to the fourth.

Microchip said that the temporary shutdown does not alter its plans to expand its Gresham plant and that there wouldn’t be any layoffs resulting from the two-week suspension of business.

“During times of business uncertainty, we sometimes ask our team to collectively participate in shared sacrifices such as short-term shutdowns so that we can remain fully staffed and avoid layoffs,” Microchip CEO Ganesh Moorthy said in a statement to the Oregonian.