Newport News Shipbuilding lays off 314 employees

The aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) sits at Pier 3 at Newport News Shipbuilding division. Photo by Matt Hildreth, courtesy HII.

Posted on March 2, 2021

119 managers also demoted in reorganization

Newport News Shipbuilding has laid off 314 salaried employees and demoted 119 managers in its first workforce reduction since the shipyard laid off 1,218 employees in 2015, according to a letter sent to employees by the company’s president, Jennifer Boykin.

“Today is a tough day as we say goodbye to 314 fellow shipbuilders as part of a layoff impacting our salaried workforce,” Boykin wrote. “This is the first workforce reduction we’ve experienced in five years and comes after a thorough assessment of our business. This decision, along with the demotion of an additional 119 managers, more evenly distributes management spans and reshapes production and support ratios. All impacted employees have been notified.”

She added that the shipbuilding company, the largest industrial employer in the state with more than 25,000 employees, is continuing to hire for some positions. “While these are very difficult decisions, they are necessary cost controls to help ensure the future of our shipyard and the affordability of the ships we build.”

A subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding is the largest military shipbuilding company in the country. It is building nine Virginia-class Block V attack submarines with General Dynamics Electric Boat as part of a $22.2 billion contract awarded in December 2019. Employees laid off will receive severance and benefits, as well as transition assistance, according to Boykin’s letter.

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