Spirit AeroSystems Inc. issued layoff notices to approximately 150 salaried and management workers at its Wichita, Kan., plant, presumably not the last step in the manufacturer’s “ongoing workforce assessment.” Wichita is the headquarters operation for the company that manufactures composite structural components for civilian aircraft, business jets, and military aircraft OEMs, and the site of one of three plants where 360 workers were laid off in late July.
Spirit also noted that “a significant number” of salaried employees have expressed interest in the voluntary separation packages that it proposed late last month.
However, while announcing the salaried/management layoffs the company said it is hiring “several hundred more” workers for its manufacturing operations, including jobs for assembly, composite, metals and process mechanics, and quality inspectors.
Spirit did not indicate the locations for the new job openings. In July it laid off more than 300 workers at three plants in Kansas and Oklahoma, and placed two plants on the sales block. Those plants employ about 3,000 workers.
The company has other plants in Nashville, Tenn.; Prestwick, Scotland; Preston, England; Subang, Malaysia; and Saint-Nazaire, France.
The problem for Spirit is cost overruns in several of the aircraft production programs it supplies, notably for Gulfstream business jets, for which it produces composite wing structures.
The company’s other products include commercial aircraft fuselages, pylons, nacelles, and wing components. In addition to Gulfstream, it supplies Bombardier’s business jet program, and it produces several products for Boeing 737 and Airbus A32 commercial jet programs.
Spirit AeroSystems has said it is acting “to balance the workforce” in order to meet “record demand” and to be more cost-competitive. The manufacturers stated it is producing at record rates and ramping up for further increases later this year and in early 2014.