CRESTVIEW — L-3 Crestview Aerospace began laying off 130 employees from its plant on Thursday, according to Lance Martin, the company spokesman.
Staff reductions resulted from decreased customer workload, the spokesman said. Affected employees will receive severance packages as well as information regarding other L3 job opportunities and unemployment services, he added.
A company representative had reached out to CareerSource Okaloosa/Walton on March 29 to asking the agency to prepare a rapid response team to come to the facility and help employees affected by the layoff. The company representative had requested confidentiality.
CareerSource representatives had dropped off informational packets April 4, but did not hear back from L-3 until Thursday after the layoffs had begun.
The aerostructures group in Crestview manufactures and modifies cabins, fuselages, tail booms and other detailed parts for commercial and military aircraft.
Crestview's location had about 1,000 employees, including mechanics, electricians and logistics and management personnel before the layoffs, according to the company spokesman. Staff reductions span a range of positions, he said.
L-3 Crestview Aerospace was founded in 2006, but its roots trace back to 1964 as Fairchild Industries. The company crafted military planes during the Vietnam War and conducted battle repairs on aircraft.
Thursday was at least the second layoff since the company has been in Crestview. In January 2014, L-3 laid off about 100 employees, which was then described as about 10 percent of its workforce.
There were also rumors of a layoff in 2007 after the company lost a major contract. At that time, employees turned down efforts to unionize.
"I'm very disappointed to hear about that or any closure in our city," Mayor David Cadle said upon hearing the news. "Hopefully these people can get back on their feet quickly and are able to find new jobs to support them."
Employees affected by the latest layoff are encouraged to go to Jacobs.com, an aerospace company with local offices, to apply for jobs.
"We absolutely do have positions open," a company spokesperson said.