Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 6:35 pm

Boeing to cut 500 defense jobs, combine facilities

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Boeing said Tuesday it will cut 500 jobs in its defense division nationwide, close facilities in Texas and Virginia, and consolidate some other sites over the next four years.

The site consolidation will reduce its overall footprint by approximately 4.5 million square feet nationwide and relocate the work of more than 3,500 employees.

 In Washington state, Boeing expects “few if any job losses from today’s announcement,” said spokesman Ken Smith.
 However, about 1,000 defense-side workers will be moved from the company’s Kent site, which has been shrinking for some years, to Tukwila.

Two facilities will close, in El Paso, Texas, and Newington, Va.

Smith said the company will provide assistance to employees who lose their jobs.

In Southern California, many positions in Huntington Beach, Calif., will move to El Segundo, Long Beach, and Seal Beach, with others shifting to St. Louis and Huntsville, Ala.

 With the moves, which will begin in 2017, Los Angeles County will gain about 1,600 positions, with St. Louis gaining 500 and Huntsville about 400, Boeing said.

The consolidation comes as Boeing’s defense business shrinks. .

Congress has in recent years been limiting growth in the defense budget, while Boeing has failed to win the biggest new military contracts, including losing the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber program to Northrop Grumman.

 Meanwhile, sharp new competition from private companies such as SpaceX has cut profits in the space sector.

In the first nine months of this year, profit in the company’s defense and space unit was down 5 percent from a year earlier.

Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security division, said the moves “will enhance efficiency and promote greater collaboration.”

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