WICHITA, Kan. (4/28/14)--Cessna Employees CU has extended assistance to its membership after its sponsor's parent company laid off 575 workers.
Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft Corp. employees received 60-day layoff notices last week from Textron Aviation, Cessna's parent (Wichita Eagle April 24).
The announcement was not unexpected, or unprecedented, Larry Damm, president/CEO of the Wichita, Kan.-based credit union with $221 million in assets, told News Now.
"We really are attuned to the sponsor company family," Damm said. "We have direct ties to the company. Cessna Aircraft is as cooperative as they can be when information like this hits, so we are cooperative as we can be. We work with our members on an individual basis. That quite frankly has helped us have a high degree of member loyalty."
In March, Textron acquired Beechcraft Corp. and formed Textron Aviation, combining the two historic airplane companies under one business. Company officials have said the consolidation would bring job reductions as they integrate support functions.
During the recent recession, the general aviation industry was also hit with mass layoffs, Damm said. "In 2008, Cessna had 15,000 employees," Damm told News Now. "Over the next two years, its payroll dropped to 6,000 employees."
Then, and now, the credit union worked with its members to see them through the hard financial times--and maintain their membership with the credit union.
The soon-to-be laid-off workers are not without hope. Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas reported that four large employers have inquired about Textron workers (KWCH-12 April 24).