Source: Hawker Beechcraft layoffs total 300, company did not release a number

Hawker Beechcraft issued 60-day layoff notices to 300 employees today, including 210 salary and 90 hourly workers, a source said.

The company, however, is not saying how many jobs were cut.

Most of the employees were notified today, the company said in a statement. “However, we do not have a specific number to share,” the statement said. “We can confirm that the Kansas employment level after this work force reduction will stay well above what our partnership with the state of Kansas requires.”

Hawker Beechcraft did not say when it would release layoff figures.

But a source said another round of cuts could come around February.

Many of those laid off are being walked out today. The company has said that those whose last days are today will be paid for the two months. That’s a practice common in past layoffs.

The number of cuts is smaller than many had expected.

Hawker Beechcraft warned employees in a letter last week that 60-day layoff notices would be issued today as the market for small-to-midsize business aircraft remains weak.

The cuts would affect all aspects of the company, the letter said.

The cuts means the city will have to work aggressively with several hundred families to meet their needs, said Mayor Carl Brewer. “We’re always disappointed any time we lose any type of jobs.”

The city is concerned any time we lose jobs, Brewer said.

Sedgwick County Commission chairman Dave Unruh said he’s disappointed about the layoffs in light of the trials facing the economy, but he respects the company’s right to make the decision.

“It’s a tough deal, but they’ve got to do what it takes to keep their boat afloat,” Unruh said.

Last year, the state of Kansas agreed to give Hawker Beechcraft $40 million in tax-exempt bonds to upgrade products, reconfigure operations and train its people. The city of Wichita and Sedgwick County agreed to add $5 million together. The action came amid fears that the company would move its operations to Louisiana.

In exchange, Hawker agreed to keep its headquarters and most of its operations in Wichita until at least Dec. 31, 2020. It also agreed to employ at least 4,000. But penalties don’t kick in unless employment drops below 3,600.