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Aerojet Rocketdyne lays off 50 employees at Redmond location
Aerojet Rocketdyne laid off 50 employees today throughout its various departments at its Redmond location due to a reduced volume of business, according to company spokesman Glenn Mahone.
The company initially laid off 20 employees in the December 2015/January 2016 timeframe through a volunteer separation program. Those workers received severance pay with benefits continuation and access to advice, counseling and career services to help them through the transition, Mahone said. The 50 employees laid off today will receive the same package.
In December 2015, company officials informed employees that they forecasted a slowdown in business and that workforce reductions could be coming in 2016-2017.
The Redmond location is on 139th Place Northeast.
According to its website, Aerojet Rocketdyne — which is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif. and has 16 United States operating locations — provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets.
Last week, Aerojet Rocketdyne was awarded a contract valued at more than $2.5 million from NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division to develop and demonstrate a high-power electric propulsion system. Once fully developed, the technology will help reduce trip times and the cost of human spaceflight to cislunar space and beyond to Mars.
In a Reporter guest column in October 2015, Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of the Advanced Space and Launch Business Unit at the Redmond location, said the local facility “is the world’s leading supplier of high power electric propulsion systems and is working with NASA on spacecraft designs for Mars cargo.”
A Reporter story in March 2015 noted that Aerojet Rocketdyne provided propulsion for the NASA Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) for the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission in December 2014.
A total of 20 engines and motors for Orion were built in Redmond, said Jennifer McCormick, one of the Aerojet Rocketdyne project managers for Orion.
In March 2015, there were about 400 people working onsite at the Redmond location and project manager Kim Wierenga said — like any project they work on — every department and division was involved in Orion and it came out to be about 100 full-time equivalent employees working on the project.