Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said Thursday it will cut 4,000 jobs and close facilities, including its mission systems and training center in Akron.
Lockheed Martin said it will reduce its workforce "to increase the efficiency of its operations and improve the affordability of its products and services. These actions are in response to continued declines in U.S. government spending."
By mid-2015, the company plans to close operations in Akron, Newtown, Pa.; Goodyear, Ariz.; and Horizon City, Texas; and four buildings on its Sunnyvale, Calif., campus.
"The facility closures will result in the elimination of 2,000 positions and ongoing operational efficiency initiatives will result in the elimination of an additional 2,000 positions in the corporation's Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS), Mission System and Training (MST), and Space Systems business areas by the end of 2014," the company said.
"At this time there are no changes to our Dayton facility," Suzanne Smith, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman, told this newspaper. She did not immediately respond to a question about whether changes are planned for a later date.
As part of the consolidation, program work and some employees will transition to other Lockheed Martin facilities, the company said. Space Systems and IS&GS will move work to its Denver, Colo. and Valley Forge, Pa. facilities. The company also said it is reviewing potential sites to transition the MST work, including its facilities in Owego, N.Y. and Orlando, Fla., and expects to finalize plans early next year.
The job cuts follow recent warnings about the impact of sequestration on defense spending. In a recent exclusive interview with this newspaper, Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said recently the federal budgetary sequestration may mean a smaller Air Force. "The military is too big for the budget so we'll have to reshape, resize," he said.
And U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, warned this week that sequestration could cost up to 6,000 military and civilian jobs by next year.
"Reducing our workforce of dedicated employees and closing facilities are among the most difficult decisions we make," Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chief executive and president, said in the company's statement. "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."
Lockheed is based in Bethesda, Md. and employs about 116,000 people worldwide.