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Lockheed to cut 4,000 jobs and close four plants, but not Syracuse-area site

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) announced today that it will close four plants across the U.S., cutting 4,000 jobs, by mid-2015, in response to continued declines in U.S. government spending.

Lockheed, the biggest defense contractor in the U.S., said that by mid-2015 it plans to close its operations in Newtown, Pa.; Akron, Ohio; Horizon City, Texas; and Goodyear, Ariz., as well as shut down four buildings at its Sunnyvale, Calif. site.

The facility closures will eliminate 2,000 jobs and “ongoing operational-efficiency initiatives” will result in cutting an additional 2,000 positions in the company’s Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS), Mission System and Training (MST), and Space Systems business areas by the end of 2014, Lockheed said in a news release.


Notably absent from Lockheed’s plant-closure list is its facility in the town of Salina. That plant’s employee count will fall to about 1,600 next week, following the completion of 80 layoffs the company announced on Nov. 6. Lockheed also cut 114 jobs in Salina three months earlier.

Lockheed Martin said the plant-closure plan it announced today is an “effort to increase the efficiency of its operations and improve the affordability of its products and services.”

“Reducing our workforce of dedicated employees and closing facilities are among the most difficult decisions we make,” Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin CEO and president, said in the news release. “In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of our business and will position Lockheed Martin to better serve our customers.”

As part of the consolidation, all program work and some workers will be shifted to other Lockheed Martin facilities, which will produce operational efficiencies and trim costs, the company contends. The Space Systems and IS&GS units will transition work to Lockheed’s Denver, Colo. and Valley Forge, Pa. sites.

Lockheed Martin said it is also reviewing potential sites to which it will transition the MST work, including its facilities in Owego and Orlando, Fla. It expects to finalize those plans in early 2014.  As part of the Nov. 6 layoff announcement, Lockheed said it was laying off 65 employees in Owego, lowering its employee count at that site to more than 2,500.

Lockheed Martin said that since 2008 it has reduced overhead costs, cut capital expenses, removed 1.5 million square feet of facility space, and reduced its workforce from 146,000 employees to 116,000.

The plant closures announced today will further cut Lockheed’s operational footprint by nearly 2.5 million square feet of facility space and lower overhead costs, the company said. Affected employees will receive job placement assistance and severance benefits to assist their transition, the release said.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that generated net sales of $47.2 billion in 2012.


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