Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Lockheed, others plan layoffs

Variety of companies, from banking to manufacturing, cutting state workforces by year’s end

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Several companies are laying off employees in Maryland, including 80 by Lockheed Martin Corp. at the defense and aerospace giant’s facilities in Southern Maryland, according to recent filings with the state.

The Lockheed layoffs are scheduled to take effect by mid-October. It is the first such notice by the Bethesda company this year, and Lockheed did not file any layoff statements in Maryland last year. A spokesman said he was checking on the notice.

Spirent Communications, a Sunnyvale, Calif., telecommunications business, also filed notice with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that it plans to lay off 22 employees in Gaithersburg by Sept. 30. A spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Executives at SunTrust Banks of Atlanta, one of the largest banks in deposits in Maryland with $6.9 billion last year, last week said they would eliminate some 2,400 company-wide positions by the end of 2008. The job cuts are part of a productivity and efficiency program designed to save the bank $530 million annually by 2009.

A SunTrust spokesman said that 19 employees in the region that includes Maryland and Washington, D.C., would be affected.

Also last week, executives at McLean, Va., financial services company Capital One Financial Corp., said they will close its mortgage-banking unit, resulting in 1,900 layoffs. Most will occur by the end of this year.

The unit has offices in Silver Spring and Owings Mills that have 60 employees and are expected to be closed.

Greatbatch, a Clarence, N.Y., manufacturer of medical devices, also plans to shut down a manufacturing plant in Columbia and move the work to Tijuana, Mexico, by the end of the year. The closing will affect 102 employees, according to state filings.

Thomas Hook, Greatbatch president and CEO, said in a conference call that the move will help the company reach its 20 percent operating margin goal. ‘‘We have extended the closure of this facility by one quarter,” Hook said. ‘‘The one-quarter delay has to do with more rigorous product testing requirements regarding our coded components.”

Brunswick Corp., a Lake Forest, Ill., maker of outboard engines, is also closing a plant in Salisbury, moving the work to Wilmington, N.C. The move is expected to be completed next year and involve 180 employees.

‘‘While we regret having to take this action in Salisbury, we recognize the need for more efficient and cost effective manufacturing,”

This report originally appeared in The Business Gazette.