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Rumors were that the local Prescision Castparts facility was closing -- but it's just slowing production

DAVID F. ASHTON - The Precision Castparts Corporation Structurals, Inc., plant on Johnson Creek Boulevard may see layoffs - but it is not being shut down, officials say. On May 21, THE BEE received calls from two area residents, claiming that the Precision Castparts Corporation Structurals, Inc., plant along S.E. Johnson Creek Boulevard, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, was in the process of closing down.

"Workers learned that Rolls-Royce, the big jet engine builder, is trying to cancel their contracts with Precision Castparts," a caller added. And, in fact, Rolls-Royce announced on May 20, it was planning to trim their payroll worldwide by 9,000 jobs, mostly from civil aerospace. The company makes engines for planes such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350.

However, spiking the rumor, Precision Castparts Corp.'s Director of Corporate Communications David Dugan told THE BEE the same day, "The plant is not closing. Within the last month, we took a few weeks of downtime, but the plant is operating and will continue to be so." With slowing orders from buyers however, layoffs could, of course, occur.

On May 2, at the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns Precision Castparts Corporation, Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett observed that, globally, the aerospace industry is in for an extended downturn, after both Airbus and Boeing curtailed production.

"We're going to have aircraft in this country, we're going to be flying," Buffett told reporters. "But the real question is whether you need a lot of new planes, and when you're likely to need them – and that affects a lot of people."


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