Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the makeup of the workforce at the plant.
Hundreds of Honeywell Aerospace employees in Albuquerque could lose their jobs after a decision by the company to move its local operations to other U.S. plants.
The company told employees at its 500,000-square-foot plant on Thursday that all Albuquerque-based aerospace work would be relocated to Honeywell sites in Arizona, Florida and Puerto Rico over the next year.
“Honeywell has decided to move manufacturing and engineering operations from Albuquerque to other U.S. facilities by the end of next year,” the company said in a statement emailed to the Journal. “This is not a decision we made lightly as we realize this, unfortunately, affects valued employees.”
Honeywell did not disclose how many people work at the plant at 9201 San Mateo NE, which has operated in Albuquerque’s north I-25 industrial corridor since the 1980s. Some employees said the workforce totals up to 500, including those working for Bendix King, a subsidiary that does not appear to be affected.
“We’re encouraging employees to apply for other Honeywell positions, in some cases offering relocation,” the company said in its statement. “Eligible employees will be offered severance and outplacement assistance.”
The city, as well, said it will work to help employees who lose their jobs.
“We’re going to do everything we can to support impacted families and keep them here in Albuquerque as the company transitions over the next year,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement sent to the Journal. “I’ve tasked our Economic Development Department to make it a top priority to reach out to our partners in the tech industry to look for ways to connect workers with opportunities.”
Economic Development Department Director Synthia Jaramillo said in a statement that the city would work with the state’s universities and national labs to find placements for laid-off employees in public and private technology jobs here.
“We’re currently experiencing a 10-year high in job growth, and a number of local tech companies are expanding,” Jaramillo said.
Honeywell is a global engineering firm with $40.5 billion in revenue in 2017. It designs and manufactures high-tech products for a range of industries, including aerospace, energy, safety, security and more.
The Honeywell Aerospace division is one of the world’s oldest and largest suppliers in the aviation industry, responsible for inventing such fundamental products as autopilot and traffic avoidance controls.
The Albuquerque operation is focused primarily on military and government contracts, which the company believes can be managed more efficiently by integrating those activities into plants in other states. That includes moving much of the division’s equipment in Albuquerque to Honeywell facilities in Arizona.
It’s unclear how many local workers will actually be offered jobs at other Honeywell sites or how many would be willing to relocate.
Workers leaving the Honeywell plant Thursday afternoon were reluctant to speak with a Journal reporter. The company told employees that some would be offered jobs elsewhere, but some said they were reluctant to move their families out of Albuquerque.
A significant number of workers employed by subsidiary Bendix King, which makes avionics products for the commercial aviation industry at Honeywell’s Albuquerque plant, will remain in their jobs here. Those subsidiary operations are not affected by the shutdown of the Honeywell Aerospace division.
Bendix King moved its operations from Kansas to Albuquerque in 2012. At the time, it said it expected to employ about 140 people in Albuquerque.
Another company division, Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technologies, also employs about 200 people at a facility near the Albuquerque International Sunport that is unaffected by the relocation of Honeywell Aerospace operations. That division manages research projects for the National Nuclear Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Honeywell International also continues to manage Sandia National Laboratories after winning the NNSA contract to operate the facility in 2016.