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Marillyn Hewson, the company’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement posted on Twitter that she decided to keep the facility in Coatesville open because “it’s a good operation with an excellent workforce.”
“At the request of President Trump, I took another look at our decision to close the Coatesville, PA, facility and have decided to keep it open while we pursue additional work,” Hewson said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s a good operation with an excellent workforce. We look forward to working with the government and PA Congressional delegation to find more for this facility.”
Trump applauded Hewson’s decision moments later in a two-part tweet.
“I was just informed by Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, of her decision to keep the Sikorsky Helicopter Plant in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, open and humming!” he wrote. "We are very proud of Pennsylvania and the people who work there.”
“Thank you to Lockheed Martin, one of the USA’s truly great companies!” he concluded.
The president also wrote Thursday: "So happy that I was able to keep Sikorsky Helicopter in the Great State of Pennsylvania. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"
The company recently announced plans to shutter operations at the Sikorsky helicopter plant, which is used for “completion work” on Sikorsky S-92 and S-76D helicopters, by the end of this year due to slumping sales for its aircraft, Reuters reported.
Trump then reached out to Hewson in June requesting that the plant stay open.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA., applauded the Wednesday decision, saying it will help provide “short-term certainty for 465 workers.” He also thanked Trump for helping to save the facility.
“Lockheed Martin’s commitment to keep operational the Sikorsky helicopter plant in Coatesville provides short-term certainty for 465 workers, who were expected to either lose their jobs or be re-located later this year,” Toomey tweeted. “Many thanks to President Trump, my congressional colleagues, and community leaders with whom I worked to prevent the plant’s immediate closure. I remain dedicated to supporting the workers in Coatesville and will remain engaged on this issue.”
Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, said he was happy to hear the plant would not be closing, but added that he was concerned about the lack of specifics moving forward.
“While this announcement is an encouraging first step, I am concerned that the announcement lacks a specific plan to bring new work to the Coatesville facility that would keep the plant open beyond the next several months,” Casey tweeted. “The Sikorsky Coatesville employees deserve answers on the long-term viability of the plant.”