Federal Way biometric company to shut down; 95 employees affected

Biometric company MorphoTrak is transferring operations from its Federal Way facility to their other West Coast location in Anaheim, California.

Biometric company MorphoTrak is transferring operations from its Federal Way facility to their other West Coast location in Anaheim, California.

MorphoTrak is a subsidiary of Safran USA and it provides biometric and identity management solutions to several places, including law enforcement, border control, civil identification and facility/IT security.

Around 95 MorphoTrak employees in Federal Way will be affected by the facility closing by December. MorphoTrak spokespeople said they will begin to move operations from Federal Way to Anaheim beginning this month.

“This is a business decision based on a growth and consolidation plan for our company,” said Celeste Thomasson, president and CEO of MorphoTrak. “We determined we needed to consolidate our two West Coast facilities into one and expand our footprint onto the East Coast.”

Thomasson said the company will ensure certain employees will be identified for relocation. The company will offer the remainder of affected employees transition packages, outplacement services and other assistance. Job counselors and educational specialists will also be made readily available to provide personalized assistance.

“We are extremely grateful to all of our employees, for their hard work and dedication,” Thomasson said. “We also appreciate the years of support we have received from the Tacoma and Federal Way communities.”

The company relocated from Tacoma — where it had taken root in the mid-1980s — to Federal Way in 2011. The company’s lease at 33405 Eighth Ave. S. was for roughly 50,000 of the total 114,627-square-foot building that was formerly occupied by Weyerhaeuser.

“This move is not at all occurring because we believe Federal Way is not an attractive place to establish or run a business,” she added. “This has been a great experience here and we are extremely grateful to our employees for their hard work and dedication.”

This transition will result in job growth at the Anaheim and Alexandria, Virginia facilities and increase overall operational efficiency, Thomasson explained.

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said in a statement that the city met with Thomasson in the hopes of getting her to keep the company in Federal Way.

“She expressed appreciation of Federal Way’s low tax rate and supportive business environment but informed me that the decision was driven by larger economic factors in their industry,” Ferrell said.

Ferrell expressed disappointment in the company’s decision, saying it went against the city’s economic development strategy, which is meant to improve the city’s economic development in two years.

“The strategy focuses our efforts on business recruitment and other specific priorities,” Ferrell said.

The mayor is hopeful the city will attract new businesses soon.

“I want to thank MorphoTrak for being an excellent member of our business community,” he said. “We are actively recruiting new businesses to Federal Way and I am optimistic about the city’s future.”

For more information on MorphoTrak, visit www.morphotrak.com.