Bell Helicopter officials say new assembly plant hiring won't be affected by global job cuts

Industrials Associated Press

Bell Helicopter says its decision to trim jobs from its global workforce won't affect plans to hire workers at a $26.3 million plant in Louisiana.

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The company said Tuesday it will hire 115 employees at the new helicopter assembly plant under construction at Lafayette Regional Airport. Bell also announced Tuesday it plans to cut 1,100 jobs worldwide.

"This week's announcement for reductions in force for Bell Helicopter's global operations will not change our plans for our Lafayette facility," said David Sylvestre, a spokesman for Bell's parent company, Textron Inc.

Sylvestre said most of those job cuts will be at manufacturing plants in Texas, in Fort Worth and Amarillo, and in Mirabel, Quebec.

"For Louisiana, though we will certainly see the impact across all parts of the business, we are continuing to invest record levels in our new development programs, including the Bell 505," Sylvestre said.

The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1ECNZpB ) reports in December 2013, Bell Helicopter and Louisiana officials agreed to build a Lafayette plant to produce the 505 Jet Ranger X. The state is paying for construction of the plant, which will be owned by the airport and leased to Bell.

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Lafayette Airport Commission member Paul Guilbeau said the Bell facility would be dedicated in a June ceremony. Guilbeau did not have a date for when Bell would start hiring employees.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com