SANTA MARIA, Calif. - An aerospace technology company with two sites in Santa Maria will begin the process of closing one of those sites and laying off 300 employees by the end of the year.
Safran has two sites in Santa Maria; Safran Seats and Safran Cabin. On Friday, Safran representatives confirmed to our newsroom that Safran Seats would be closing. Safran seats employs 300 people in Santa Maria.
The reason for the closure is the unprecedented drop in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Safran says global air travel has dropped by 80 percent due to coronavirus-related concerns.
A Safran spokeswoman said much of the company's contracts have been moved around and rescheduled with most work postponed until 2023.
Regrettably, our company cannot sustain these significant business impacts, and we are now in the unfortunate position of making major structural adjustments to Safran Seats worldwide.Safran Statement
The Safran Seats facility in Santa Maria will be closing "no later than the fourth quarter of 2020."
The employees of the facility were informed of the pending closure in early May.
The company says they plan on providing as much support for these laid-off employees as they can.
The Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce said this layoff is indicative of a greater economic trend during the pandemic.
Glenn Morris, president and CEO of the Chamber said that layoffs like this can have a ripple effect on the economy, as those without jobs may not be able to spend money as they normally would.
He recommended those laid off reach out to the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara County for help, or look into non-credit career academy courses at Allan Hancock College.