Layoffs Also Affect Cessna's Independence Plant

By: Natasha Trelfa Email
By: Natasha Trelfa Email

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"What we do today is going to determine what tomorrow's outcome is," said one Cessna worker in Independence just hours after learning of more layoffs.

"Cessna is an important part of our industrial family in Independence," said Independence City Manager Paul Sasse.

It's a move Independence city leaders said is hard to prepare for, but not unexpected, as the town's largest employer, Cessna, announced layoffs at the local plant. Officials said it's just another reminder of the struggling economy.

"As a city, we're concerned with what's happening to the economy in our community," said Sasse.

The Independence plant employs about 1,300 of Cessna's 15,000 workers. This latest round of layoffs will leave 200 of the southeastern Kansas plant's workers without jobs.

"It's just something that had to happen," said one Cessna worker in Independence.

The chamber of commerce reports about one-third of the Cessna workers in Independence come from surrounding communities. It's still unclear just how many of them will be impacted by the layoffs. The city manager said, while the economic impact is unavoidable, the community is doing its best to deal with the situation.

"We are adapting, we are monitoring, is the best way to say it, and we'll have to adapt," said Sasse.

While city leaders said the community will certainly have to work through the tough economy, they said they're trying to stay optimistic.

"We can look at the glass sort of half full, half empty, in that we still have Cessna producing aircraft with over 1,000 employees," said Sasse.

City officials in Independence say they are obviously disappointed about this latest round of layoffs, but they will do anything possible to help the families that will be impacted.

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