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Sikorsky aids employees in wake of layoffs

The Troy Sikorsky facility wasn’t immune to economic setbacks as more than 50 employees were laid off from their jobs Thursday.

Paul Jackson in the Sikorsky communications office said the cuts came as part of a restructuring plan announced in October and November of last year.

“…we had informed employees of the necessity to reduce cost structure to remain competitive amid the tightening global business environment and reduced government defense spending,” Jackson said. “The workforce reductions that occurred (Thursday) are part of that previously announced restructuring.”

Jackson said the company wasn’t “disclosing any numbers,” but employees at the Troy facility who wished to remain unnamed, along with Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford, said the number of people laid off was more than 50. “Anytime there are layoffs of any size it is sad,” Lunsford said. “Even one is too many.”

Several years ago, employees at the Troy location totaled 175. Before the Thursday cuts, 750 people worked at the facility. Lunsford said, though, that he has confidence in Sikorsky’s management team in Troy and in Connecticut and feels the number of local jobs will bounce back soon. “I think that as they ramp back up, Troy will be one of the places where you see them ramp up,” Lunsford said.

Sikorsky, just this week, brought in the first helicopter as part of their plans to rebuild slightly-used and 0-hour helicopters. “They’ve been doing things to counteract the downturn in the economy,” Lunsford said.

Jackson said Sikorsky mitigated the overall impact of the cuts significantly by previously offering voluntary separation programs. “We are working with the affected employees to assist them.”