Boeing Ends Oak Ridge Parts Production Operations

Move part of Boeing's continuing consolidation of its parts manufacturing capability and capacity.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - Aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co. said Wednesday it will end parts production operations after more than 25 years in Oak Ridge and begin issuing 60-day layoff notices next week to 115 workers.

The move, to be completed by the first quarter of 2008, is part of Chicago-based Boeing's continuing consolidation of its parts manufacturing capability and capacity, the company said.

Oak Ridge production of flight deck consoles, instrument panels and other airplane parts is shifting to Boeing's Salt Lake City operations and outside suppliers.

Meanwhile, Bethesda, Md.-based USEC Inc. said it reached agreement with BWX Technologies Inc. to assume Boeing's Oak Ridge work building gas centrifuge components for USEC's new uranium-enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio.

About 100 of Boeing's 265 employees in Oak Ridge build centrifuges. BWX Technologies already has a presence in Oak Ridge, where it manages the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.

Boeing is working with the city of Oak Ridge to make its centrifuge facilities available to USEC, USEC said in a statement.

Boeing spokeswoman Carrie Thearle said it was unclear how many employees ultimately will be out of work. The 60-day layoff notices to 115 workers will go out July 6.

''But bear in mind we are working with employees if they want to seek employment at other Boeing locations,'' she said. ''So we can't really say or predict who is going to be laid off.''

Gary Bomhoff, Boeing Oak Ridge site leader, said this has been ''a challenging time for all of our Oak Ridge employees, but we believe that this solution offers the best opportunity for future jobs in this community.''

''America's nuclear heritage will always be tied to Oak Ridge and BWXT is pleased to work with a company like USEC that is not only continuing that tradition of innovative work, but is keeping that work in the Oak Ridge area,'' said John Fees, chief executive officer of Babcock & Wilcox Cos., BWXT's parent.

Boeing established its Oak Ridge facility in 1981 to support centrifuge parts manufacturing.

USEC, which began its centrifuge program in Oak Ridge in 2001, hopes to begin commercial operation of its American Centrifuge Demonstration Facility in Piketon by in late 2009.

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