Category Archives: layoffs

Airbus to reduce engineering staff

WICHITA — Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft aren’t the only aircraft manufacturers cutting jobs in Wichita.

Airbus also will be reducing its engineering staff.

“This is not bad news,” says spokeswoman Kristi Tucker.

“This type of staffing balance is not unusual in the aviation industry,” she says. “At some point in every project, the product leaves the engineering and design phase and goes into production, so you don’t need as much engineering focus on it.”

Currently, about 370 of Airbus’ 400 Wichita employees are engineers.

“It’s been at a top level,” Tucker says. “It’s more work than we’ve ever done or ever managed out of that office.”

She says she can’t discuss specific numbers of how many jobs will be eliminated because that’s not been determined yet.

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Envision closes Kansas City plant, lays off 30 employees while restructuring

WICHITA — Envision has closed a Kansas City manufacturing plant and laid off 21 people there and nine in Wichita, but new president and CEO Michael Monteferrante says he’s instituting a restructuring that will position the nonprofit to flourish.

“Obviously, it’s a very difficult and painful situation to lay off employees, especially blind (employees),” he says. “Sometimes it takes a very tough decision.”

Monteferrante says the government’s sequestration “has caused a reduction of revenue of about 36 percent at Envision, which is a tough situation because 92 percent of our revenue is generated through the United States military.”

Although Envision has done what Monteferrante calls a “magnificent job” in expanding services for the blind and visually impaired, he says, “What we’ve done is we’ve remained very one dimensional on our revenue stream, which is making bags for the military.”

Envision manufactures a variety of plastic bags.

“We have to focus on diversification,” Monteferrante says. “We’re not going to be so dependent on the government.”

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GLMV Architecture lays off about a dozen employees in second round of layoffs

WICHITA — For the second time in less than a year, GLMV Architecture has laid off employees.

In August, the cutbacks affected a half dozen employees. This time, it’s about a dozen. Some employees also will now be working reduced hours.

“Nobody saw this coming,” says one laid-off worker. “Everybody’s so shocked.”

Neither Chairman Bill Livingston nor CEO Jeff Van Sickle returned calls for comment.

Sources say that in some ways, the company seems to have had more work lately. The issue may be that some of GLMV’s clients have had difficult first quarters.

The layoffs affected GLMV’s Wichita, Kansas City and Houston offices.

In January 2010, Gossen Livingston merged with McCluggage Van Sickle and Perry. In 2012, GLMV moved into a prominent new home in the Douglas Design District at 1525 E. Douglas.

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce recently awarded GLMV the Keeper of the Plains award during its annual Honors Night for the firm’s work restoring the 30,000-square-foot 1930 building that originally was home to J. Arch Butts’ Packard dealership.

“If you have two of the longest firms in Wichita merge (and) they just won an award for a building, and now you’re laying off another round … it doesn’t add up,” one former employee says.

“That plus the last round is a pretty big hit.”

GLMV Architecture has layoffs

WICHITA — GLMV Architecture laid off employees and asked one to retire this week.

Neither Chairman Bill Livingston nor CEO Jeff Van Sickle returned calls for comment.

Sources says five employees were laid off and one longtime employee was asked to retire.

In January 2010, Gossen Livingston merged with McCluggage Van Sickle and Perry. Earlier this year, GLMV moved into a prominent new home in the Douglas Design District at 1525 E. Douglas.

It looks like the layoffs may have been due to declining work in some sectors the company serves.


JC Penney’s Wichita stores are ‘operating with fewer layers of management’

WICHITA — A source says there were layoffs at both JC Penney stores in Wichita Monday and that it appears to be mostly managers who were affected.

The Plano, Texas-based company will confirm only that it is “operating with fewer layers of management.”

“We are unable to provide specific details on how the restructuring impacts jcpenney stores on a local level,” wrote spokeswoman Sarah Holland in an e-mail.

The company has stores at Towne East Square and Towne West Square.

“The Company’s new approach to pricing, promotion, merchandising and the customer experience has simplified our business and removed a lot of the process-oriented work that was previously required,” Holland wrote.

“These changes are essential to helping us achieve our long-term goals. Over time, we expect that the likelihood for new and more enriched job opportunities will develop as our business grows. We would not have moved forward with these difficult decisions if we did not believe it was absolutely necessary for the future growth of our Company.”

Intrust Bank Arena lays off five employees

WICHITA — Intrust Bank Arena has laid off five workers, which leaves 41 employees.

General manager A.J. Boleski calls it “obviously, a difficult decision to make.”

Cuts came from engineering, security, marketing and finance.

Last year, the new arena’s net operating income was $2,010,106.

It’s not on track to do that well this year.

“You know . . . it’s a tighter year,” Boleski says. “2011 is a different year than 2010 as it relates to the arena.”

Part of the issue, he says, is that last year was the arena’s inaugural year. That meant a big kickoff and more acts.

Also, Boleski says, the industry in general is slower right now.

“Therefore we need to tighten up expenses.”

Roo Grayson to almost double in size

WICHITA — When Karla Binns opened her Roo Grayson home decor store in late 2009, she said her business would be “a fun place to shop because there’s always going to be something different there.”

She kept her promise and now is building on it by adding another 2,500 square feet to her 3,400-square-foot store.

Binns is creating an archway to the south of her store to open onto a new area where she can add more furniture lines.

Though she sells furniture now, such as handmade mahogany pieces from Indonesia and salvaged pieces from other countries, Binns says she mostly has tables and accent pieces.

“I couldn’t completely furnish your living room.”

When her new space is ready in July, she’ll be able to do that thanks to new lines of sofas, chairs and what Binns calls library pieces, such as bookcases with a ladder.

The space next to hers has long been storage, and Binns says she told her landlord she wanted first dibs on it.

“We thought maybe we might want to do this,” she says of the expansion. “We hoped.”

Binns has commissioned a number of pieces in her store. For instance, she finds various older pieces of wood and has tables made.

It’s all part of her effort to be unique.

“We’re trying to become Wichita’s destination store,” Binns says. “It’s just a one-of-a-kind store.”

Printing Inc. has layoffs but is hopeful about the long term

WICHITA — Printing Inc. has laid off 10 to 15 people in the last week, which follows several months of four-day workweeks for employees. The company won’t release how many employees it has.

“We’ve hit the same economic iceberg that everyone else has,” says president Mark Woodman.

He says summer is a traditionally slower time in the industry.

Woodman says the company has a broad base of customers — 50 percent are out of state — across many industries.

“I’ve always felt like we were a pretty good representation of the overall economy,” he says.

And it’s not a pretty picture, he says.

“We’re seeing it in every industry,” Woodman says. “We’re seeing a lot of capacity go out of this marketplace.”

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