American multinational aerospace and Defense Corporation, Boeing, has announced that they are still reviewing their operations in Wichita, thereby refueling speculations of a possible closure of the plant.
This announcement was made after U.S. representative Mike Pompeo said that a senior Boeing official had told him that the modification work on the Air Force refueling tankers would be done in its plant in Washington state rather than in Kansas.
Bloomberg reported that Boeing had won a decade-long fight for Pentagon approval to build 179 refueling tankers worth at least $35 billion, a project long touted as being able to create some 7,500 direct and indirect jobs in Kansas with an overall economic impact of $388 million.
However, earlier, the company mentioned that officials were discussing whether to close the facility due to the recent budget cuts imposed by the Defense Department. The facility, which specializes on modifying commercial aircraft for military or government operations, has around 2,100 employees.
However, Boeing is not the only company struggling from the cut-offs. Slower federal military spending has affected a number of defense organisations and many have announced layoffs.
The Wichita facility of Boeing was initiated during 1929 and employment in the facility peaked during the World War II to around 40,000.
However, in 2005, due to the layoffs of its commercial aircraft operations in Kansas and Oklahoma, the employee numbers were reduced to a considerable extent.