Lockheed Cuts 600 Jobs

By WBNG News
By Julianne Sweeney

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 14, 2009 at 9:10 PM EST

After the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program is scrapped, Lockheed Martin delivers even more deflating news.

It's eliminating 600 jobs at its Owego facility.

Action News Reporter Julianne Sweeney tells us what the cuts mean for the company's work.

Lockheed Martin notified 600 people working at its Owego facility that they're out of jobs.

The layoffs come a month after the VH-71 Helicopter Program was terminated.

The company says it's working to find new jobs for those people.

"The biggest thing and most important thing to us is to try and get everybody transitioned into employment, whether that's with Lockheed Martin or outside the company." said Thomas Greer of Lockheed Martin.

Greer says the people laid off are skilled workers.

And that some may have already been approached by other companies working under other government contracts.

In total, Lockheed eliminated about 700 positions because VH-71 was shut down.

100 sub-contractors working on the project were already laid off.

Lockheed says a very small group of employees has been assembled to determine how to break down the program.

"The remaining scope of activities and work is a very small nucleus, specific, a group that's going to sit and work with the government." said Greer.

A new facility was built especially for the VH-71 Program.

Lockheed says it's still unsure what will happen to the building."

It's also unclear how the government will reuse aircraft already built and the lab equipment.

The company says it hasn't ruled out using the products for another government contract down the line.

Lockheed Martin does not anticipate any more job cuts.

The United States Navy issued the contract termination.

Congress can still overturn the decision.

Congressman Maurice Hinchey says he's working to secure funding in next year's Defense Appropriations bill for the continuation of the current Presidential Helicopter program.

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