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Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Worry in Tulsa that American Airlines Layoffs Could Become Industry Departures

Scott Olson / Getty Images

When American Airlines announced bankruptcy-fueled layoffs at the company’s maintenance base in Tulsa, the initial worry was for the thousands of local workers slated for layoffs.

That concern has spread to fear for Oklahoma’s aerospace industry itself.

If plans to layoff 2,100 workers at the Tulsa maintenance base go through, the loss could mean losing more than 10 percent of the total Tulsa-area workforce.

The aerospace industry employs about 20,000 people in the Tulsa region, Tulsa Metro Chamber economist Bob Ball tells the Associated Press.

City and business leaders in Tulsa are trying to find other aerospace openings for the targeted Tulsa workers.

The efforts, while piecemeal, have been progressing, the AP’s Justin Juozapavicius writes.

“As soon as the layoffs were announced, we were overwhelmed at the chamber with companies who said ‘I need 20 people. I need 75 people. I need 10 people,’” said Mike Neal, the president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

“We want to ensure people that the brunt of the loss of 2,100 jobs is an incident we can bear the brunt of and dampen the effect of (the layoffs).”

The chamber won’t name any specific companies, but potential employers include aviation companies and the energy industry, the AP reports.


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