Key Construction today laid off 4 percent of its professional and support staff and 5 percent of its carpenters and labor staff.
The 4 percent of Key’s 280 employees are from its Wichita office.
“We’re optimistic,” executive vice president Pat Ayars says of future business, “But you have to deal with what’s out there, and it’s a little challenging out there.”
Key has business units in seven markets.
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“Candidly, Wichita’s one of the hardest impacted markets,” Ayars says.
He thinks that’s due to Wichita’s heavy dependence on aviation.
Ayars says Tulsa isn’t hit as hard as Wichita, and Texas still has plenty of work.
But, he says, “I think every contractor in America has driven a pickup down there . . . and stuck a sign in the ground.” Ayars says it helps that Key has been there a long time.
Carpentry employment already varies substantially, Ayars says, depending on the amount of projects Key has.
He says the company hopes to rehire the laid-off workers.
“They’re good people,” Ayars says. “We’re hopeful that our economy gets back on line later this year.”