September 8, 2017

Restructuring at Bloomfield's Kaman Corp. leads to layoffs

PHOTO | Kaman Corp.
PHOTO | Kaman Corp.
The Kaman's Connecticut Composites division builds the rotor blades for this Kaman K-MAX helicopter. This is one of the manufacturing programs that will be transferred to Kansas with an announced restructuring.

Aeroparts maker Kaman Corp. said Friday it expects to layoff as many as 45 employees in its Bloomfield commercial helicopter components division and transfer 40 others to a facility in Wichita, Kan.

The restructuring of Kaman's Connecticut composites structures division in Bloomfield, which makes commercial helicopter components, will be accompanied by a comparable restructuring of its fabricated products operations in Hyde, United Kingdom.

All told, the company anticipates its restructuring actions will result in cost savings of approximately $4 million.

"We are stable financially but this [composite division] is a business unit that had higher costs than the revenue of the division can support, so we needed to take these actions," said Kaman Spokesman Eric Remington.

The composites division has been affected by the downturn in energy prices, so fewer orders for commercial helicopter components have been coming in, and some defense programs have not been funded, Remington said.

Kaman employs 5,300 people worldwide, and 1,200 of those are in Connecticut, mostly in Bloomfield, where corporate headquarters are based. The Bloomfield facility also houses the air vehicles and MRO helicopter business, Kamatics airframe bearing manufacturer, and distribution business, Remington said. No changes are anticipated there, he said.

Kaman executives have been in touch with Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development, which is providing the names of companies that may be interested in hiring Kaman's laid off employees, Remington said. Kaman also is working to place laid off workers in other positions within the company, he said.

Of the 55 jobs affected in the U.K., Kaman expects a net reduction of up to 30 employees after the consolidation, Remington said.

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