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A spokesman for the Roanoke County company said the 70 job losses have nothing to do with sequestration.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
About 70 hourly employees at the ITT Exelis night vision facility in Roanoke County learned Friday that their jobs will end as of April 7.
Tim White, a company spokesman, said ITT Exelis is responding to the realities of the defense industry market. He said the job losses have nothing to do with sequestration — the automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts that took effect this month.
“It’s a difficult time,” White said.
He said ITT Exelis night vision increased employment in recent years after demand surged for the company’s night vision goggles, monoculars and other products when the United States was involved in wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. With demand decreasing, he said, the company “needs to be the right size going forward.”
In October, the night vision plant in Roanoke County laid off 201 hourly employees.
And White said Saturday that some salaried employees chose to take early retirement late last year.
Layoffs in January 2012 affected 75 salaried workers and 300 hourly employees.
White said current employment at the Roanoke County plant is 716 workers, a figure that includes both hourly and salaried workers. Before the job cuts that began in early 2012 the plant on Plantation Road employed about 1,400 people.
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