In the latest round of the economic slowdown, 205 Dassault Falcon employees in Little Rock were handed pink slips.
A former employee tells us today he and his former co-workers were called into the office one by one. In fact, we got a hold of the letter the former employees received on their last day of work.
Aviation manufacturing was once considered the largest export in Arkansas. Leading the charge was Dassault Falcon Jet with the state's largest manufacturing plant. That is why Friday’s news of layoffs came as a tough blow.
The company cites a slowdown in demand for new business jets. FOX16 obtained a letter the company gave to employees on Friday saying considering layoffs was their last resort.
Many of the employees are considered skilled laborers. That is why city officials don't want to lose them to other states. "It's important that we have projects coming down the line like Caterpillar to be able to give these folks an opportunity for a new job in a similar situation with similar wages pretty quickly to keep the talent here because it's so difficult once it leaves, to get it back," Jay Chesshir with the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce said.
In September Dessault laid of 72 employees and just last month aviation manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft had a workforce reduction.
One of the employees laid off says he's obviously sad by the news but also says Dessault is one of the best companies he's ever worked for.
One employee told us they will receive one week pay for each year of employment and the company will offer medical benefits for 2 months.