Orange County Business Journal

OC Hubs Included in Boeing Cuts

Chris Casacchia Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Seal Beach and Huntington Beach hubs of Boeing Co.’s Space and Intelligence Systems unit are among the Southern California locations that will cut a total of 250 to 300 workers this year, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

The other affected sites are in Torrance and El Segundo, where the Space and Intelligence Systems unit is based. It employs about 5,500 employees.

Workers received notices about three weeks ago and were given the opportunity to be placed in a pool for possible inclusion in a layoff plan, according to Boeing spokeswoman Diana Ball.

Boeing would not disclose how many workers applied for the incentive package, but most of the affected staffers are in senior, non-management positions.

“It’s been successful,” Ball said. “We like the results.”

The Space and Intelligence unit is one of the world’s largest satellite manufacturers. It currently has 29 orders on backlog, according to Ball.

The latest Southern California job cuts are not related to a larger corporate strategy to cut overall costs by $1.6 billion by 2015, which is expected to reduce its executive ranks and consolidate widespread operations, Ball said.

Boeing employs about 7,000 people in OC, a total that has fallen by 3,000 in recent years as the company has shifted its defense business away from big weapons and systems to stealth warfare and smaller weapon systems.

Boeing is investing in other units even as it makes cuts in others.

The Business Journal reported in this week’s issue that the company will count on its Huntington Beach operations to design a new line of satellites.

The aerospace company’s Huntington Beach hub has been tapped to develop Phantom Phoenix, a new line of small satellites that it hopes will find buyers in both the defense and commercial sectors. An overriding goal of the program is to manufacture systems quickly and affordably for specific missions.