EL PASO — Leviton Manufacturing announced it will close its West El Paso plant and layoff nearly 350 employees.
The announcement came only a few days after airplane manufacturer Boeing announced it will also lay off 160 employees from its Northeast El Paso plant.
Leviton will start letting employees go one department at a time from February-July. The company plans to shut down all operations at its West El Paso plant by August, 2013.
The company manufactures plastic injection molding, and will consolidate two thirds of the jobs in El Paso to its other U.S. locations. The remaining positions may end up overseas.
Lorenzo Reyes, Executive Director of Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande said this is part of an ongoing trend.
"Over the last few years, the overall manufacturing industry has been in decline. Anything that has to do with manufacturing is a concern to us," said Reyes.
Tom Fullerton, an Economics Professor at the University of Texas El Paso said the problems at Leviton and Boeing were unavoidable.
"Nationally and internationally, there's a lot of economic uncertainty that's affecting the demand for electronic components such as what's manufactured at Leviton. In terms of the defense budget outlook, and what's going on with the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling debate, at some point that is likely to impact on the defense budget, and that's why the cutbacks at Boeing have been projected," said Fullerton.
Workforce Solutions will help the workers from both Leviton and Boeing with resume services, training and job placement.
Reyes said Leviton employees are also eligible for federal aid in the form of Trade Adjustment Assistance, which helps workers whose jobs are moved overseas.