(La Porte, IN) - Another 150 jobs are being eliminated by a maker of high performance airplane engine components in La Porte, as a direct result of the COVID-19 related downturn in commercial aviation. This announcement came yesterday following the layoff of 115 workers at Howmet Aerospace earlier this month.
The additional job cuts were blamed on additional orders for parts being cancelled, which was not expected, according to company officials in a September 14 letter addressed to all employees at the plant at 1110 Lincolnway.
Bert Cook, executive director of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership, said he also was notified by the firm Monday about the lay-offs. "It’s obviously disappointing news,” he said. “Howmet has been a tremendous partner for many, many years and they will continue to be a big partner. They still employ a ton of people here,” Cook said.
The latest workforce reduction, expected to occur over a four week period, will begin October 1st. The previous lay-offs over five days ended September 2nd. About 500 workers will still be employed at the facility on La Porte’s east side once this round of layoffs are complete.
Howmet Aerospace has 26 other locations in the U.S. and other countries like Mexico, Canada and France. The company is also a maker of fasteners and titanium structures for aerospace application and forged aluminum wheels for heavy trucks. Lower demand for parts because of commercial planes grounded by the virus resulted in lay-offs earlier this year at other Howmet Aerospace plants in places like Muskegon, Michigan and Wichita Falls, Texas.
Cook said he expects the company to rebound once air travel gets back to where it was prior to the pandemic and the city will be there to assist in any way possible.
Mayor Tom Dermody also said the city is willing to do whatever it can to assist the laid off workers. “Our thoughts go out to those people. Hopefully, it can be turned around where they can be called back sooner than later,” he said.