Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Woodward to close Rock Cut plant amid coronavirus uncertainty

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – Woodward, Inc. plans to close its Rock Cut plant, the company announced Friday.

“Woodward is conducting permanent layoffs and temporary furloughs because we are temporarily closing business lines, departments, and portions of facilities due to the public health emergency and physical calamity resulting from the sudden and widespread impact of the infectious disease pandemic known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the company said in a statement. “This includes all of the product lines at Rock Cut Campus.”

The announcement  comes a day after the Woodward laid off 425 people and furloughed hundreds of others.

The company said furloughed employees will return to work as soon as possible. Woodward workers The Times spoke to Thursday said they were told they would be off for four to eight weeks while things are retooled.

“We hope this could be a matter of two months, but we cannot guarantee a time period based on the information that we currently possess,” the statement said. “We do not know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, and we do not know how long the precipitous economic downturn in our aerospace markets will last.”

Before yesterday’s layoffs, Woodward employed around 2,700 at its two Loves Park plants.

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