|Updated: 12/13/2012 6:31 pm
||Published: 12/13/2012 4:41 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Hundreds of Little Rock employees losing their job at Hawker Beechcraft are looking for the next opportunity. The aviation company is going through chapter 11 bankruptcy which led to closing its Little Rock facility.
Eighteen employers filled the former Aerospace Education Center near Clinton National Airport looking to hire.
Nicole Minter with Fort Worth based APA Services, an aviation staffing company, says the Hawker Beechcraft closing in Little Rock has had a major ripple effect on the industry.
"Hawker was our third largest account one year ago and we have zero employees at Hawker now," Minter says.
Something Leonard Dillon, a 20-year veteran of Hawker Beechcraft, is seeing up close.
"I think it's a good idea they're getting everybody together instead of us going out and looking for a job. I really hate the idea that I'm here, but there's not much I can do about that."
Hawker Beechcraft shut down its line of luxury aircraft, and with it, the need to keep the Little Rock plant open, laying off more than 200.
Minter says her company will place people throughout the country. The closing is a big blow but she says the aviation industry remains strong.
"The likelihood of these guys, with the experience that they have, of being able to stay in the Little Rock / Hot Springs area is very good,” Minter says. "This is a great opportunity. I hate that these guys are losing their jobs but this is a great time for them to lose their jobs if they're going to do because we are covered up with opportunity right now."