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Hawker Beechcraft to close 3 facilities, cut jobs

Wichita-based airplane maker Hawker Beechcraft says it's closing facilities in three states and laying off more workers in Kansas.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita-based airplane maker Hawker Beechcraft says it's closing facilities in three states and laying off more workers in Kansas.

The company said Wednesday that 240 employees will lose their jobs with the closing of Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio, Texas.

It also plans to cut a total of 170 jobs at its Wichita headquarters and at its completion center in Little Rock.

Hawker Beechcraft says the moves are in line with plans to emerge from bankruptcy as a standalone company. It says the closures and layoffs will help with its plan to focus on turboprop, piston and military aircraft and on its parts and maintenance business.

Affected employees in Wichita will be notified Friday. The others will be told next week.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Statement from Tim Griffin

“This is not only terrible news for Hawker Beechcraft employees and their families, it’s a blow to Arkansas’s aerospace manufacturing development. My heart is with all of those affected by this announcement, and I will continue to push for policies that strengthen our economy and create new job opportunities for hardworking Arkansans.”

Letter sent to employees

November 7, 2012

Fellow Hawker Beechcraft Employees,

Following our recent announcement that we intend to emerge from Chapter 11 protection as a standalone company, we have begun assessing what our workforce and operational footprint will be for a sustainable and competitive future as Beechcraft Corporation.
With that in mind, we will begin the process of closing the Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio, Texas. Approximately 240 employees will be affected in these locations.

In addition, we will be implementing a reduction in force that will affect approximately 170 employees at Hawker Beechcraft Corporation in Wichita, Kan., and Little Rock. More than half of those affected are employees at our Little Rock Completions Center, where the company is finishing its remaining Hawker aircraft for customer delivery. The company already has taken a series of steps during 2012 to match its hourly employee levels to adjusted production rates. Therefore, we expect this reduction will impact 15 or fewer bargaining unit employees.

Impacted employees at the three HBS locations will be notified the week of Nov. 12. Employees in Wichita will be notified on Friday, Nov. 9 and those at the Little Rock Completions Center on Monday, Nov. 12. Each employee will be notified of whether he/she will be required to work during all or some of the 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) period based on business needs. Human Resources leaders will be working with managers, who will inform the impacted employees.

While extremely difficult decisions, these closures and reductions in force will get the company closer to what we envision for our go-forward plan that focuses on turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft, as well as our parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses.

Your continued focus on designing, manufacturing and servicing the best airplanes in the world is critical to our success, and we appreciate your continued hard work and dedication. We will continue to provide updates as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Steve Miller
CEO
Hawker Beechcraft, Inc

Bill Boisture
Chairman
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation
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