PANAMA CITY BEACH — GKN Aerospace shut their doors at Venture Crossing on Tuesday after previously making promises to invest $55 million and create 170 high paying jobs.
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As a result, 60 people were laid off. GKN was welcomed in 2017 and was set to offer annual wages of $63,156 by the end of 2020.
GKN operates in 15 different countries with 18,000 global employees.
"This is very disappointing; we’ve been working very closely with them for several years now," said Becca Hardin, President of Bay Economic Development Alliance. "CareerSource has been working swiftly to get the people who lost their jobs to transition to a new one."
During the past few months, GKN has tried to reach an agreement on a long-term manufacturing location for a major work package in the U.S. The plan was to have this work package at the Panama City site.
According to GKN officials, the work package would not be sustainable at the Panama City site and decided it was best to remain at its current GKN Aerospace facility. The work package GKN was seeking is paramount for the facility.
"This is no way a reflection of our employees and their efforts," said Wesley Bates, communications manager of GKN Aerospace. "We will continue supporting our employees over the next couple of months and partnering with CareerSource, to transition them to jobs their skills are applicable with."
GKN will wind-down the facility over the next couple of months. The company declined to give further details in regard to the work package and why it wasn’t sustainable at the Panama City site.
Also Tuesday, GKN announced that it will be opening a new facility in India.