Spirit AeroSystems announces 360 employee layoffs at its Kansas and Oklahoma facilities

WICHITA, Kan. -- Spirit AeroSystems says it is laying off about 360 employees at its Kansas and Oklahoma facilities.

Spirit has locations in Tulsa and McAlester.

The Wichita-based aircraft parts maker announced the move Thursday, a day after union officials disclosed company preparations for the anticipated layoffs. The move affects salaried support staff and management employees.

The company said in a news release that the action is a strategic move to make the company more competitive in a cost-sensitive environment. Spirit says it's trying to reduce overhead costs, increase efficiency and improve performance.

According to Spirit's website, the facility in Tulsa, which employs approximately 2,500 people, fabricates Boeing 737NG, 747-8, 777 and 787 composite and metallic wing components as well as metallic and composite floor beams for the 777 and 787 programs. Military program involvement includes the E3 AWACS radomes, engine cowls and rudders.

The plant in McAlester supports both the Wichita and Tulsa sites with machined parts and subassemblies.

Spirit AeroSystems, which makes large sections of airplanes assembled by companies such as Boeing and Airbus, saw its first-quarter net income rise 10 percent as demand for commercial planes increased.

Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa REgional Chamber released the following statement in response to the layoffs:

"While layoffs are tough for any community, the Tulsa region's strong aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector is poised to absorb as many of these skilled positions as necessary. The Chamber will convene its workforce partner organizations to begin outlining a plan to help any impacted employee find comparable employment or any skilled training needed."

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