By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
A letter sent by Hawker Beechcraft to its employees Wednesday informed them that the company would be cutting workers and closing specific facilities, resulting in job losses for more than 400 employees. Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark., Mesa, Ariz., and San Antonio, Texas, will "begin the process of closing," shedding some 240 jobs in the process. Hawker Beechcraft Corporation in Wichita, Kan., and Little Rock, Ark., will lose an additional 170 people to the cuts. Workers will begin receiving notices this Friday, Nov. 9. Some will be "required to work during all or some of the 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) period based on business needs," according to the letter.
The company says the "extremely difficult" decision to reduce its workforce will help move it closer to a business model it believes will allow it to succeed, moving forward. That model envisions focusing "on turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft, as well as our parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses." The letter tells remaining employees that their "continued focus" on producing "the best airplanes in the world" is critical to the company's success and that workers' "continued hard work and dedication" is appreciated. Further updates are promised as the company attempts to emerge from Chapter 11 protection as a stand-alone company. Click through for the full text (PDF) of the letter.