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Textron lays off 575 in Kansas

Published On: Apr 23 2014 08:22:14 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 06:03:08 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

Textron, which owns Beechcraft and Cessna, has announced 750 layoffs company-wide.  Those layoffs include around 575 workers in Kansas.

The company made the announcement in an email to employees Wednesday morning. The cuts come about a month after Textron finalized a $1.4 billion dollar deal to acquire Beechcraft.

Carla Smith, Beechcraft employee, said most workers knew about the layoffs and were expecting it.

"We just didn't know who, but I had my bags packed just in case," Smith said. "You just have to wait for another door to open for you."

Smith said she will now move to Dallas to look for an administrative assistant position.

"This is an extremely difficult, yet necessary, step in order to realign the combined businesses with a vision for strengthening the new Textron Aviation segment."

- Jim Walters, Textron Senior Vice President

Textron says the reduction affects "all areas of the Beechcraft and Cessna businesses, including salaried and hourly employees in positions spanning from management to non-management levels. "

The company says employees affected by the reduction are receiving 60-day WARN (Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification) notices. 

Tony Trice, who worked on Beechcraft's King Air, said he was part of the downsize.

"It's the business of it," Trice said. "When a company buys another company you always have to downsize before you start over."

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said in a statement he hopes the company's actions will put both businesses in better positions to grow their operations in Kansas.

"The quality of our workers, products and suppliers will keep global aviation manufacturers coming back to invest, build and create more opportunities for Kansans," Moran said.

Textron (NYSE: TXT)  finished the day up $0.05 to $4.15 per share.

Malcom Harris, Friends University finance professor, said layoffs after a merger are common. But he said he worries more cuts will come in the future.

"What that business really needs is a revival of demand for those types of planes," Harris said.

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