- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., will reduce its workforce by 4,000 positions and consolidate many of its facilities, the global security and aerospace company said Thursday.

The company employs 116,000 people worldwide and does a lot of work with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

In October, the firm furloughed 2,400 employees because of the government shutdown. The company originally planned to reduce by 3,000, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced then that nearly 400,000 civilian Defense employees were deemed essential for national security, so Lockheed Martin trimmed the number to 2,400.

The latest reduction of the 4,000 positions is because of the continued decline in government spending, the company said Thursday.

“Reducing our workforce of dedicated employees and closing facilities are among the most difficult decisions we make,” Lockheed Martin CEO and President Marillyn A. Hewson said in a prepared statement. “In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of our business and will position Lockheed Martin to better serve our customers.”

Lockheed Martin plans to close the following operations by mid-2015: Newtown, Pa.; Akron, Ohio; Goodyear, Ariz.; Horizon City, Texas; and four buildings in Sunnyvale, Calif., the company website confirmed.

“The facility closures will result in the elimination of 2,000 positions and ongoing operational efficiency initiatives will result in the elimination of an additional 2,000 positions in the corporation’s Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS), Mission System and Training (MST), and Space Systems business areas by the end of 2014,” the site said.

Does Lockheed Martin expect further cuts beyond 2015?

“We, along with others in industry, continue to urge Congress and the Administration to deal with our fiscal challenges through measures other than the indiscriminate cuts of sequestration,” said Gordon Johndroe, vice president of Worldwide Media Relations for Lockheed Martin, on Thursday. “It’s premature to say what the immediate impacts of full sequestration could mean, but long term, we’ll have to adjust our business to deal with any USG [U.S. government] budget cuts.”

The company said it will offer job-placement assistance and severance benefits to those employees who are affected by the changes.