When layoffs loom…

Mya Studyvin

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Being laid off is detrimental to a family’s financial situation, often drastically changing their lives.

This is exactly what’s happening to 2,800 families in the Wichita area.  

When Spirit Aerosystems announced it was laying off 2,800 workers in January, many Spirit and Boeing employees panicked. 

“They gave her a slip, told her that was her last day of work, and that they’d pay her every two weeks until March,” said junior Macalie Bounvongxay, whose mother was laid off from Spirit. “She’s been working there for about 13 years now, so her bosses recommended her to a job in Palmdale, California.” 

Bounvongxay’s mother is likely moving to California to accept the job, while Bounvongxay stays in Derby to graduate at semester her senior year. 

Much confusion remains regarding the reason for layoffs and who’s being targeted. 

Some believe newer workers and those performing below the expectation will bear the brunt of layoffs. Others say it’s hard to tell.

“I think they laid off most of the newer workers rather than the people who have been there for a year or longer,” freshman Josh Hassell said.

So, are veteran workers safe?

No one knows for sure.

When the Boeing 737 Max’s were grounded and production was discontinued, the profit deficit ultimately led to layoffs. 

The financial worry is a heavy weight to bear.

“The layoffs put a lot of people out of pay and a lot less workers means a lot less help,” Hassell said. 

Resources and workshops have opened multiple places in Sedgwick County and online to assist workers in finding new jobs and financially supporting laid off workers through food and child care assistance services.

For access to these resources, visit www.dol.ks.gov/AviationWorkerResponse.