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Bellingham’s Faithlife cuts staff as it shifts gears

The Flatiron Building, part of Faithlife Corporation’s downtown Bellingham campus, is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Faithlife laid off about 60 employees on Tuesday.
The Flatiron Building, part of Faithlife Corporation’s downtown Bellingham campus, is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Faithlife laid off about 60 employees on Tuesday. eabell@bhamherald.com

A major downtown company has announced it is laying off around 60 employees as it adjusts to changes in its market.

Faithlife Corp. made the announcement on Tuesday, Jan. 5. CEO Bob Pritchett said in a statement that the company has been producing its core product — Bible software called Logos — for more than 20 years and has seen a lot of growth. As that category matures, they’ve seen changes in the rate of growth, and it’s impacted the business model. According to Pritchett, the company was overstaffed for the future and needed to make an adjustment.

Pritchett said in an email to employees that this was the only round of layoffs and that the company is on firm financial footing.

“We carefully assessed what needed to be done, and planned to do it once and to be done,” Pritchett said in the company email.

The staff cuts are spread through the organization, Pritchett said. The current reduction puts the Faithlife workforce at around 320.

The latest change is part of a plan for entering new growth areas that require a different business model, Pritchett said. This includes more subscription services to access a wide range of resources and information through tools like LogosCloud.com and ProclaimOnline.com. This business model means different capital and cash flow requirements, he said.

These are our friends and we’re doing what we can to help them in this transition

Bob Pritchett, CEO of Faithlife

On a company online forum page, Pritchett said the simplest explanation for the move is to restructure for sustainability. He added in an email that they are working with those who were laid off.

“These are our friends and we’re doing what we can to help them in this transition,” Pritchett said.

Faithlife has become a major tenant in the downtown district, at one point employing more than 400 people in several different buildings, including the Flatiron building at 1313 Bay St. The company moved to Bellingham 13 years ago with a staff of around 30 people, growing steadily through its sales of online and computer software Bible study aids. The company also has an office in Arizona.

Along with filling quite a bit of empty office space in the downtown core, the company became known for being a popular place to work. In 2014 Faithlife was named one of the best places to work by Glassdoor, an online site that offers job listings, employee reviews and salary estimates. Faithlife ranked high on the list because of its different employee benefits, including unlimited vacation, an outdoor center, free coffee and soda, and flexible schedules.

The company also has branched out beyond Bible resources. In late 2014 it launched Noet, which serves as a resource for those interested in the humanities field, including history and philosophy.

The layoffs at Faithlife come on the heels of other local major job layoff announcements in the past few months, including the closure of the CH2M Hill Bellingham office and loss of about 120 jobs in December and the upcoming curtailment of the smelter operations at Alcoa’s Intalco Works plant near Ferndale. The curtailment at Intalco is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, laying off around 465 workers.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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