Hawker, Weatherford to cut jobs in central Arkansas

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 49 views 

Two reports out of central Arkansas point to job losses that could total 260.

In a letter to employees released this morning (Aug. 2), Hawker Beechcraft says it has notified state workforce officials of plans to reduce its workforce affecting 170 employees.

The letter states: “As we have communicated with you previously, the company continues to evaluate and balance production rates throughout a difficult and rapidly changing environment.

“Over the last several months, we have worked to appropriately size our business, primarily in Wichita. Today, we are faced with additional challenging decisions that involve further resizing our work force.

“This latest round will impact approximately 170 employees across multiple levels and functions, hourly and non-hourly, throughout our Little Rock facilities. Affected employees are receiving a 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN).

“This continues to be an unprecedented time for our company and our employees.  We encourage you to uphold a pattern of respect and care for our impacted colleagues during this time.”

The letter is signed by company CEO Steve Miller and chairman Bill Boisture.
Hawker has been going through a massive restructuring as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and potential sale to Chinese investors.

Hawker announced in May that it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move to reorganize its assets. At the time, the status of jobs at the company’s Little Rock manufacturing center were unknown.

On July 9, Hawker said it had struck a $1.79 billion deal with Beijing-based Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd. that would result in maintaining Hawker Beechcraft’s existing operations “while also investing substantial capital in the company and its business and general aviation product line, saving thousands of American jobs, including in Wichita, Kan. and Little Rock, Ark.”

Also, The Searcy Daily Citizen is reporting that a natural gas drilling firm, Weatherford International, is closing its doors putting 90 employees out of work. The news was also reported by the Associated Press and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

According to the Citizen report, Weatherford will close for business on Sept. 8, according to Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce President Buck Layne.
The company is an hydraulic fracturing firm, which helps drill for natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale play.

Weatherford officials offered no comment.