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Spirit AeroSystems reducing N.C. workforce by a ‘small number’

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, June 27, 2014, at 12:24 p.m.

Some salaried workers at Spirit AeroSystems’ Kinston, N.C., plant may be laid off as one of its major programs there transitions from development to production.

Officials from the Wichita-based company said Friday that as the work in Kinston on the Airbus A350 commercial jetliner changes, a “small number” of salaried employees will be reassigned to other work at Spirit or laid off.

“We did have some changes in our work statement,” Spirit spokesman Ken Evans said. “It’s all on the salaried side of business.”

In a statement e-mailed to The Eagle, the company declined to specify the number of people affected.

“At the same time we are realigning and reducing some of our salaried workforce, we continue to expect measured hiring for hourly positions to support production rates,” the statement said.

As of last month Spirit had about 440 employees at the plant in North Carolina. Evans said in an e-mail that because the transition from development to production is ongoing, the company doesn’t “have a number (of North Carolina employees) to share.”

This is the second time in as many months that Spirit has said it is adjusting its employment in North Carolina because of the A350 work. It also declined to disclose an exact number of workers that were affected in May.

An examination of North Carolina Department of Commerce records on layoffs in the state this year did not show any layoff actions by Spirit, through June 25. The online public records are part of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The act requires most employers to provide public notice if they are closing a plant or office that affects 50 or more employees, or are planning a mass layoff that affects at least 33 percent of their total employment.

Spirit opened the 500,000-square-foot facility at N.C. Global TransPark in Kinston in July 2010 for the design and manufacture of the composite center fuselage upper and lower shells for the Airbus A350 XWB jetliner.

It also builds the composite wing spar there.

The fuselage structures are then sent to Spirit’s facilities in Saint-Nazaire, France, for assembly and delivery to Airbus. The wing spars are shipped to Prestwick, Scotland.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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