The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 5, 2013

DRS cuts 35 jobs locally

JOHNSTOWN — Companywide restructuring at DRS Technologies Inc. is cutting about 10 percent of its local workforce, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

The move, part of an effort to consolidate the Virginia-based company’s Integrated Defense Systems and Services wing into three defense-related businesses, will lay off 32 full- and part- time workers, as well as three temporary workers, DRS spokesman Michael Mount said.

Jobs are being cut facilitywide in manufacturing, management and support positions, Mount said. He called the moves unfortunate but necessary as the company aims to emerge as a “leaner and more agile organization.”

Increased budget pressures and changing times in the U.S. and global aerospace and defense markets forced the moves, Mount said.

“This new structure will help DRS pursue new business with a more focused set of resources ... and improve technologies that are essential to our customers’ success,” he said. Some cuts will eliminate companywide “redundancies,” he said.

This week’s cuts will take DRS’ local workforce to approximately 275 workers, Mount said.

A subsidiary of Italy’s Finmeccanica, DRS has been among those hit hard by U.S. defense cuts, and most recently by federally mandated sequestration in defense spending.

Its Laurel Technologies facility, which employed a workforce of 900 in 2008, has faced steady cutbacks since. Layoffs cut that number to 400 as of April 2011, and until this week’s layoffs, the plant employed about 300, Mount said.

Until now, Johnstown was part of DRS’ Integrated Defense Systems and Services division.

Restructuring efforts will put the Johnstown facility under a newly created Maritime and Combat Support Systems Division, one of three new divisions being formed under DRS.

David Hurst covers Richland Township for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him at www.twitter.com/tddavidhurst.

 

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