Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Lockheed Martin is safe for now, but Central New Yorkers are wondering if the future of the major employer’s Salina facility is still up in the air.
The company has promised to remain in the region for at least another year, but many are concerned about its long-term future.
Local government and business leaders are now coming up with a strategy to make sure they save hundreds of jobs at the plant.
They’ve already begun a dialogue with the company to make sure Lockheed Martin remains in the area long-term.
“It was disheartening to hear that it was even a possibility that the facility could close down, it's a lot of good paying jobs. A lot of the people live in the town, spend money in the town,” said Town of Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra.
The impact of a closure could be devastating. Lockheed Martin is a major for-profit employer in Central New York, with 1,700 highly skilled, well-paid workers.
According to the company, sequestration has negatively impacted its business.
Lockheed Martin says it needs to make decisions to keep the company competitive.
"There is a lot at stake with this decision and we are going to do everything in our power to make the company understand why this is a good place for them to be in the long run,” said Rob Simpson of Centerstate CEO.
“It’s huge because they are really the last of the really big employers not only in the town but in the region so we need to do whatever we can to keep them here because we need those jobs,” Nicotra said.
The company is planning to lay off about 600 workers nationwide next week in an unrelated development. They have not indicated how many jobs – if any – will be lost at the Salina plant. Numerous lawmakers addressed the near loss of Lockheed Martin on Thursday
On Friday, Onondaga County Supervisor Joanie Mahoney addressed the matter.
“Lockheed Martin is one of our community’s most important employers. Onondaga County has a strong track record of bringing community partners together and we stand ready to work with Lockheed Martin, much like we did with Anheuser-Busch in Lysander, to ensure their Onondaga County facility remains competitive in a global economy. In fact, Onondaga County and our partners will use this opportunity to show Lockheed Martin why they should not only remain here, they should expand here. We are willing partners to make that happen,” Mahoney said in a prepared statement.