Only four years after it opened, Lockheed Martin Global Supply Chain Services in Richland Township is planning to close.
The military defense contractor will not renew a lease at 210 Industrial Park Road before it expires at the end of August. Lockheed Martin hopes the decision will create $1.6 million in annual savings, mostly from rent costs.
“It’s basically part of the affordability measures that we’re taking across our business,” said company spokeswoman Emily Caruso.
The local facility employs 78 individuals.
Its operations will be incorporated into a similar distribution center in Middle River, Md, which Lockheed Martin owns. All local employees will be given the opportunity to relocate to Maryland. Lockheed Martin Aeroparts, located at 211 Industrial Park Road, will remain in operation. Nearly 350 individuals work in the aeroparts plant.
“Losing those 78 jobs is a very tough blow to our area right now,” said Johnstown Area Regional Industries President Linda Thomson.
JARI, a nonprofit business development service provider, played a key role in originally attracting Global Supply Chain Services and developed good working relationships with officials and workers. “This is very sad news,” Thomson said.
Lockheed Martin moved the supply chain center from Greenville, S.C., to Richland Township in 2008. Four years ago, a company representative cited proximity to important clients in Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg, Columbus, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., as a main reason for coming to Cambria County. At the time, U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, the powerful House Subcommittee on Defense chairman, said the move would help Lockheed Martin improve effectiveness and competitiveness.
Now, the 12th district’s new congressman, Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, is responding to the job losses.
“This news is disappointing, but it doesn’t change the fact that Johnstown is a great place to live and work,” said Rothfus. “In these tough economic times, companies looking to keep and grow jobs would be well served by Johnstown’s low cost of living and highly skilled labor force, and I will work with the community to promote job creation.”
Owners of the 44,000-square-foot building used as the supply center did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
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