Spirit AeroSystems to bring back some employees after layoffs, furloughs

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)- Some workers at Spirit AeroSystems will return back to work after a 60-day layoff or paid furlough.

Employees were notified by Spirit officials that they would return to work beginning Aug. 15 unless otherwise notified.

It’s unclear how many employees are returning, but 900 were placed on temporary furlough or laid off earlier this summer.

Those employees would return to their previous schedule, shift and work location and masks are mandatory.

“This is a great timing for the aerospace industry to really start picking back up,” said Jeremy Hill, director of WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research. “We are getting to a point, a little stagnation in our economy, not a lot of growth was happening, so bringing those employees back on will really reboot this economy.”

Hill said this means more money for the company but also some piece of mind for struggling suppliers, too.

“It’s going to generate about another 70 million dollars of output,” said Hill. “That might sound small compared to what Spirit does, but that’s critical for all that supply chain work and all the other value added that we do.”

Spirit said it continues to take safety measures for employees including ongoing cleaning of workspaces and common areas.

Hill said the return of employees could help local businesses as some of the workers could start feeling more confident in spending again.

“It’s going to take a relief back to the restaurants and to retail and to really opening up other components of our economy,” said Hill. “This removes a lot of the bankruptcy concerns and just gets back into core-function. How do we remain lean, fiscally okay until that time when things really start ramping back up?”

Boeing has publicly said the company hopes production of the 737 Max will resume by the end of the year, but Hill said it will take some time until that production gets back to what it was before the halt last year.

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