West Side Business News & Notes
Lockheed Martin announces closure
SOUTH AKRON — Lockheed Martin announced it will close and consolidate several of its U.S. facilities — including its Akron operations, located in South Akron near the Goodyear Airdock — and reduce its work force by 4,000 positions as part of its effort to increase the efficiency of its operations and improve the affordability of its products and services.
The closures are planned for finalization by mid-2015. The company stated these actions are in response to continued declines in U.S. government spending.
In a statement issued Nov. 14, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, who also held a press conference that afternoon, said that his first reaction was sadness for the more than 500 employees and their families who will be impacted. But he also had fighting words for legislators in Washington, D.C., whose “irresponsible conduct,” he said, is responsible for the pending shutdown.
“Lockheed Martin’s announcement today is not a reflection on our city, county, region or state,” Plusquellic stated, “but rather an unfortunate sign of the politics and consequences of the political games played in D.C., and a direct result of the Federal Budget Sequestration.”
“Reducing our workforce of dedicated employees and closing facilities are among the most difficult decisions we make,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin CEO and president. “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.”
The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md.
“I know this is little comfort to the 500 families affected and it does not compensate for the loss,” Plusquellic stated, “but if the closure happens, we will work to make sure these industrial and manufacturing sites are put to the best use possible with viable companies that will provide job opportunities for our residents.”
Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.
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