At New Piper Aircraft, Another 150 Pink Slips

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New Piper Aircraft cut another 150 jobs at its plant in Vero Beach, Fla., the company said this week. "This keeps the company profitable and allows us to avoid cutting into our future product programs," company spokesman Mark Miller said. The reductions were made across the board in office and assembly-line jobs. Recalls by aircraft engine manufacturer Textron Lycoming slowed production, leading to the need for cuts, Miller said. The plant now employs 850 people, down from 1,600 employees in early 2001, Miller told the Associated Press. Piper reduced its 2003 production schedule to 252 aircraft, down from the 291 aircraft it manufactured last year. Just about a year ago, New Piper was ranked one of Florida's Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies for 2001 by the University of Florida.