Officials at Bell Helicopter announced today that the company would lay off approximately 500 workers. This represents about four percent of the Bell Helicopter workforce and includes a 20 percent reduction in the management-level staff.
This layoff was triggered by the U.S. Department of Defense´s recent termination of the ARH-70A helicopter development contract, including the impact of the loss of the planned production contract.
In accordance with government regulations, Bell will provide pay and benefits to the affected employees for 60 days following the date of their layoff notice. Bell will also provide severance pay in accordance with standard company policy.
Commenting on the layoff, Richard Millman, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter, said, "With the loss of the ARH-70A program, we must make changes in our staffing and structure to reduce costs and ensure that our products remain competitive. Staffing decisions are always difficult, especially in light of the global economic conditions. Our actions are intended to ensure that we retain the talent most needed for the projected business environment and treat every affected employee fairly and with respect and dignity." Employees affected by the layoff are being notified today. Bell Helicopter has made arrangements to provide each employee with post-employment support through the services of an outplacement firm and the Texas Workforce Commission.