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Layoffs at L-3 Crestview Aerospace
CRESTVIEW - A major defense contractor has laid off a hundred people in Okaloosa County. L-3 Crestview Aerospace confirmed the cuts this week.
Laura Hussey "Lou Lou Beans and Speedee Printing are located in the same building here in Crestview. Two locally owned businesses, trying to weather the storm of ever more uncertain defense spending"
L-3 Crestview Aerospace is one of Okaloosa County's largest employers. In October, they laid off twenty people.
Mark Williams/Speedee Printing "Our biggest fear is every time we turn around, on the news we hear about cutbacks, layoffs"
Mark Williams says the printing business has held up well the last couple of years. But hearing that L-3 has laid off a hundred more people makes him wonder.
Mark "What's going on with our nation, what's going on with our economy, how the military defends our country and with the cutbacks in the....L3, you worry about what's going on with our defense"
With almost 500 billion dollars in defense cuts phasing in over the next ten years, and wild cards like sequestration, L-3 was trying to diversify outside the defense industry. But the company says new commercial contracts have been delayed, at the same time the defense business is shrinking.
Dr. David Goetsch "Defense contractors base their hiring and their planning for the future on certainty. they have to know that they're going to have contracts. They don't know that now"
Dr. David Goetsch of the Florida Defense Support Task Force says a hundred people suddenly without paychecks is significant. But an even bigger economic impact will come from the fear the layoffs spark in other defense workers.
Dr. Goetsch "Every one of those, right now today, is saying I'm not going to spend any penny I don't have to spend, because that could happen to me next week"
Laura Hussey "L3 still employs 850 people here in Crestview."