A total of 595 employees will lose their jobs with the closure of the Carlisle Interconnect Technologies aerospace plant in Kent.
Scott Selbach, vice president and general counsel for Carlisle Companies in Scottsdale, Arizona, the parent corporation of the Kent business, explained the reason for the shutdown.
“The sudden and dramatic drop in airline passenger travel caused by COVID-19, which impacted the commercial aerospace market, which is the market this plant in Kent primarily served,” Selbach said during a phone interview Friday.
Carlisle makes cable assemblies for the interiors of aircraft, such as in-flight entertainment at seats. The company contracted with Boeing for new aircraft and with airlines that retrofitted aircraft with the latest technologies.
“The unprecedented impact on airline travel has hit the entire supply chain,” Selbach said. “Boeing affected our business like many of its other suppliers.”
Selbach said the company has offered severance packages, pay and benefit packages to all of the affected employees. The layoff notices began Aug. 12. Selbach said the plant will be phased out with final closure in late 2021.
“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “We certainly are sorry the company had to take this action but it’s being driven by the dramatic decline in demand for our products caused by COVID-19.”
Carlisle closed a smaller plant in May in Mobile, Alabama, which also produced products for commercial aerospace.