Manufacturing Layoffs Hit St. Louis: 53 HM Dunn AeroSystems Job Cuts

Manufacturing Layoffs
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HM Dunn AeroSystems Plant to Shut Down

HM Dunn AeroSystems Inc. is closing its machining plant in south St. Louis, leading to dozens of manufacturing layoffs. The tally of the HM Dunn AeroSystems job cuts will be hitting 53 after the closure of the machining plant. The move was made as part of a consolidation effort.

HM Dunn’s clients include Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) and GKN Aerospace (a division of GKN plc). It maintains facilities in Euless, Texas and Wichita, Kansas.

The job cuts will begin on January 28 and continue until the closure of the plant on March 31. A letter from the company to state officials said, “The closure has been prompted by the company’s decision to discontinue operations at that location and consolidate the work statement into facilities located in other states.”

This is a blow not just for the area, but also to the perception of the health of the American economy overall.

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The federal government has long made the cultivation and protection of manufacturing jobs a priority since those jobs are often well-paying positions that provide less-educated workers a path to the middle class. President Donald Trump spoke extensively about how much of a priority manufacturing jobs were to his administration. These latest manufacturing layoffs, therefore, are detrimental, not only to those on the receiving end of the job cuts, but also to the overall confidence that Americans maintain in the economy.

The White House has long talked about the importance of manufacturing jobs, but the recent HM Dunn AeroSystems job cuts are part of a long string of layoffs in the sector. Despite promises made during the campaign, several major manufacturers have either opened facilities in foreign countries and moved production, enacted large numbers of layoffs, or otherwise not created jobs at as fast of a clip as was promised by the federal government.

Of course, the White House only has so much control over private sector job numbers, but the fact that the manufacturing industry was such a critical element of the Trump election platform, with “bringing jobs back to America” being touted throughout the campaign, every layoff is a blow to the administration’s credibility.

Other factors, like the rise of restaurant jobs vs. manufacturing jobs, reveal that the rosy picture and lofty promises of the White House may have been, at the very least, exaggerations.

The president has been involved personally with some manufacturing spats, often claiming that he saved a plant or renegotiated a deal with a company to keep workers in the United States. The Carrier Corporation plant in Indianapolis is an oft-cited example. While Trump was able to keep the facility in Indianapolis (through tax breaks and other incentives), the company has still laid off about 500 employees since that deal.

With manufacturing layoffs hitting across the U.S., the Trump administration’s focus on the industry may not be enough to stem the tide of job losses.

 

Sources

Aircraft components maker closing St. Louis plant, cutting 53 jobs,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 29, 2017.

Carrier plans final layoffs at plant Trump vowed to protect: report,” The Hill, November 9, 2017.

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