September 30, 2010 / 7:15 PM / 9 years ago

Alliant Tech laying off 426 as shuttle winds down

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Alliant Techsystems Inc ATK.N, a Minnesota-based aerospace and defense contractor, is laying off more than 400, mostly at its northern Utah plant, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The majority of the jobs are in Utah. Some (are) in Huntsville, Alabama, and at the Kennedy Space Center” in Florida, Alliant spokesman George Torres told Reuters.

He said the 426 job losses are a result of NASA’s space shuttle program winding down and reduced funding for the Ares rocket program.

“We’re really concerned about it,” said Brigham City, Utah, Mayor Dennis Fife. He worked at the company himself for 16 years before retiring.

About 40 percent of the Alliant employees being laid off reside in Brigham City and surrounding areas of Box Elder County in northern Utah, Fife said.

“Most of the jobs support NASA. There are also jobs in the research and development areas,” he said.

The layoffs are expected to have a ripple effect on the larger economy of the area.

“I’m sure we’ll see some sort of a hit. A lot of locals work out there,” said Ryan Jackson, manager of the Peach City restaurant in Brigham City.

Fife expressed concern about the future of his community with the latest job cuts.

“If you look at the history of Brigham City, it’s been because of ATK. It is the backbone of our community.” he said.

ATK has operations in 24 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, with annual revenues of approximately $4.8 billion.

The 400-plus layoffs amount to about 2 percent of the company’s total 18,000-member workforce.

In afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading, Alliant shares were up 2 percent at $75.33. (Reporting by James Nelson; Editing by Jerry Norton and Gerald E. McCormick)

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