Howmet Aerospace
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Pandemic Cited for Layoffs at Howmet

July 29, 2020
More than 750 positions have been eliminated at two plants for the new aerospace components and fastener business, which is coping with the collapse of commercial aerospace demand.

Howmet Aerospace confirmed it will eliminate 131 hourly and salaried positions at its Niles, OH, plant, through layoffs, attrition, and voluntary retirements. The plant is a titanium products operation, manufacturing titanium ingots, blooms, billets, bars, plates, and sheet.

Howmet is a new company launched in April following the split of Arconic Inc., and consisting of the former Arconic Engineered Products and Solutions operations that produce forged aluminum wheels, investment-cast engine components and engineered structures, and fastening systems.

At the time of the launch Howmet had a reported 41,700 total employees,

The downsizing at Niles follows a wider workforce-reduction program begun in June at Howmet's Whitehall, MI, operations, where it produces aerospace investment castings and other components, and has casting, alloy, and coating research activity. In that downsizing, Howmet laid of 625 workers, about half of which are reported to be voluntary and temporary.

In both cases the layoffs are attributed to the continuing loss of business activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been especially damaging to the aerospace sector. A prolonged pause in business has stilled manufacturing demand in a broad sense, but been pandemic has plunged commercial air travel and thus cut into demand for aircraft production and components and systems to support maintenance of current jet fleets.

Howmet also apparently is among the aerospace suppliers likely to lose considerable business due to a growing number of cancelled orders for new aircraft, notably for Boeing's 737 MAX jets.