Am I Next? Potential layoffs at Sikorsky Helicopters in Jupiter, Flordia


Sikorsky spokesperson Paul Jackson noted, “Sikorsky will not renew the lease for the Florida Assembly and Flight Operations property ... and will vacate the building by year-end.

Closing the helicopter assembly operation at the campus it shares with Pratt & Whitney will result in a lay off of about 500 — nearly half of the employees at the Palm Beach County site.

UPDATE: JULY 31, 2018

Sikorsky spokesperson Paul Jackson noted, “Sikorsky informed employees today of a decision to consolidate operations to adjust to lower US Government aircraft demand, eliminate the resulting excess capacity, and protect our ability to compete by reducing cost.

As a result, we will not renew the lease for the Florida Assembly and Flight Operations (FAFO) property in West Palm Beach and will vacate the building by year-end. We will continue to operate the Development Flight Center on the same campus.  Additionally, approximately 150 salaried employee layoffs will occur throughout the company by year-end as a voluntary separation package offered to salaried employees in June did not yield the expected number of applicants. These two actions combined will impact 5% of the Sikorsky workforce. These decisions are always very difficult but necessary to ensure we can deliver affordable products for our customers to complete their missions.”

Original post ...  

It appears that a confluence of events are likely to produce up to 200 permanent layoffs in the Sikorsky/Lockheed’s facility in Jupiter, Florida.

The layoffs appear to be targeted at workers involved with the Blackhawk military helicopter program. 

Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO, Marillyn Hewson, commenting on first quarter 2018 net sales of $11.6 billion said, “Strong operational and program execution in the first quarter allowed us to increase our financial guidance for sales, profit and earnings per share. Our team remains dedicated to performing with excellence, offering affordable and innovative solutions for our customers, and delivering exceptional value to our shareholders.” While also noting that  sales in the Rotary and Missions Systems Group (which includes Sikorsky) increased by $96 million, but “These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $190 million for Sikorsky helicopter programs due to lower volume for government helicopter programs.”

Nothing is set in stone, but the handwriting for some employees is clearly on the wall as company spokesperson said, “We have not made any announcements but continually review all our business operations to ensure we are properly sized for current and longer-term business requirements and economic conditions within our marketplaces.”

Look for an upcoming shootout for the next generation of helicopters. Sikorsky/Boeing’s SB>1 Defiant against Textron/Bell’s V-280 Valor. We can only hope that critical workers can be retained to avoid what happened to the skilled staff at NASA – who appears unable to send astronauts to the International Space Station without Russian launch vehicles. 

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?