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150 more workers face layoffs at Region plant

150 more workers face layoffs at Region plant

LaPorte City Hall stock

LaPorte City Hall

LaPORTE — Another 150 jobs are being eliminated by a maker of high-performance airplane engine components due to the COVID-19-related downturn in commercial flying.

This comes after 115 workers at Howmet Aerospace were let go recently.

The additional job cuts were blamed on additional orders for parts being canceled, which was not expected, according to company officials in a Sept. 14 letter addressed to all employees at the plant at 1110 E. Lincolnway.

Bert Cook, executive director of the LaPorte Economic Advancement Partnership, said he also was notified by the firm Monday about the layoffs.

“It’s obviously disappointing news,” he said.

The latest workforce reduction over a four-week period will start Oct. 1.

The previous layoffs over five days ended Sept. 2.

About 500 workers still will be employed at the facility on LaPorte’s east side.

“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.

Howmet Aerospace has 26 other locations in the U.S. and other countries including 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 coronavirus resulted in layoffs earlier this year at other Howmet Aerospace plants in places including 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.

Mayor Tom Dermody said the city is willing to do whatever it can to assist the laid-off workers.

“Our thoughts go out to those people," he said. "Hopefully, it can be turned around where they can be called back sooner than later."

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