An already battered job market took another big hit this week, as West Point’s Navistar Defense facility announced it is currently in the process of laying off up to 340 temporary workers.
The layoffs began this week and are expected to continue through next week.
In March, more than 400 workers were hired in order to complete work on a $752 million contract issued to Navistar as an order for 1,050 Maxx-Pro mine-resistant (MRAP) armored vehicles. The contract was awarded in February and was scheduled to last three months. Now that the contract is winding down, those additional workers are no longer need, thus this week’s layoffs.
“The company ramped up its contract work force in March to support the order,” said Navistar Defense spokeswoman Elissa Koc, who added that the West Point assembly plant will continue to produce other vehicles such as the International MXT, 7000-MV and MaxxPro vehicles.
While the latest news is an additional blow to a county struggling with a high unemployment rate, the job scene at Navistar has fluctuated in the past, and future contracts are not out of the question.
The remaining work force at the West Point plant still has a few contracts ongoing, including a $102.3 million deal issued in May to provide MaxxPro kits and parts. That contract runs through November. Additionally, the company received a $178.3 million deal in March to provide independent suspension kits for MaxxPro vehicles, with that work scheduled to run one year from the date the contract was issued.