NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – BAE Systems Ship Repair Norfolk has announced plans for layoffs.
A company spokesman told 10 On Your Side all employees were notified Monday. He said 650 people will be layed off effective November 20, 2015.
Company spokesman, Karl Johnson told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings over the phone, “We realize that this is a difficult choice and its going to be tough on our employees, on their families.”
One employee shared the letter he received with WAVY.com, however, he did not want to be interviewed for our story.
“We’re providing employees with the opportunity to adjust to the news and to prepare themselves for what comes next in their careers,” Johnson said.
Of the announcement Johnson told Cummings, “If there is any silver lining here it’s the fact that we are going to be able to preserve six out of 10 jobs here after the layoff is completed.”
Johnson said the announcement is a result of a Navy decision to delay modernization programs and a decision to reduce the number of ships homeported in Norfolk.
He said over the last three years there has been a reduction of Navy ships in Norfolk.
“Obviously it’s certainly not a good day for not only those workers but for everybody here in Norfolk,” Chuck Rigney, Norfolk Economic Development Director said.
Prior to Monday’s announcement the City of Norfolk was planning a registered apprenticeship expo planned for next week.
It’s just one way the city plans to help get the hundreds of people with an uncertain future back on their feet.
Johnson told Cummings BAE systems hadn’t had a layoff since 2010. In addition to the 650 layoffs in Norfolk, the company also announced 200 layoffs in Jacksonville, Florida.
You can read the entire news release of the announcement below:
BAE Systems today notified employees at its Norfolk, Va., shipyard that it will be reducing the workforce by about 650 employees, effective November 20. The shipyard currently employs about 1,500 people. The workforce reduction is the result of a decrease in Navy repair work, consistent with the Navy’s decision to delay several modernization programs and the reduced number of Navy ships homeported in Norfolk. This reduction enables the shipyard to respond to the reduced demand for ship repair services in the near term, while preserving as many jobs as possible for anticipated future work. BAE Systems greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication of the employees who are impacted by this difficult decision.
BAE Systems is a leading provider of ship repair, maintenance, modernization, conversion, and overhaul for the Navy, other government, commercial and private customers. The company operates seven full-service shipyards in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and Hawaii, and offers a highly skilled, experienced workforce of about 5,000 employees, eight dry docks, and significant pier space and ship support services. The company also has commercial shipbuilding and module fabrication capabilities at its Mobile, Alabama, and Jacksonville, Florida, shipyards.
For those looking for employment: The Second Congressional District’s Third Annual Job Fair will be held Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk. It’s free and open to the public. To register for the event click here.