IUKA – Alliant Techsystems officials have canceled their plans to add 600 jobs to their Iuka facility, according to a press release late Friday afternoon.
In the statement from the Mississippi Development Authority, the ATK officials cited the “recent downturn in the economy and the company’s need to consolidate its engineering, development and production of the Airbus program.”
“The State of Mississippi is extremely disappointed by ATK’s decision to cancel the Tishomingo County project and to cancel its plans to create higher paying, composite technology jobs in Iuka,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “We understand that the economy and the need to create efficiencies in its engineering, development and production areas drove ATK to take this position.”
MDA said that ATK has reimbursed the state in full for the more than $30 million in economic development incentives made available to the company.
In February 2009, Alliant Techsystems announced plans to build composite structures for commercial aircraft at its plant at the Tri-State Industrial Park at Yellow Creek near Iuka.
The plant, which employed 176 people at the time, was scheduled to increase its work force to 800 within eight years.
On Friday, ATK said it willl not locate its Airbus A350 full rate production operations at its Iuka facility, but rather will centralize them at an existing location to optimize the program in support of its customer.
“It is truly regrettable that ATK is unable at this time to move forward with its commitment. To protect the taxpayer, this administration has been diligent in including clawbacks in contracts for all major economic development projects,” Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) executive director Gray Swoope said. “The company has met the conditions of the clawback provisions stipulated in its contract.”
Company officials have indicated they do not believe this decision will affect the current workforce at ATK’s Iuka facility and have voiced their intention to maintain the plant’s existing Mississippi workforce, retaining the 160 people currently employed there. The facility and its employees primarily support the production of large composite aerospace structures for government and commercial launch vehicles.
Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal