The Connecticut-based helicopter maker Sikorsky announced on Monday that it will close its Southern Tier plant at the end of the year.
In a statement, company spokesman Paul Jackson says planned cutbacks at the Pentagon were the reason for the closure:
Due to declining defense budgets and the continuing economic weakness in many markets, Sikorsky yesterday informed employees of its intent to close the Sikorsky Military Completions Center (SMCC) in Horseheads as of December 31, 2012, and transition the work to our West Palm Beach, Fla., facility.
The plant, which worked on Black Hawk and Sea Hawk helicopters, employed 575 workers, according to Reuters.
In 2006, Chemung County invested $15 million in a new building to help expand Sikorsky's operations there. The company signed a 15-year lease with the county, but the building at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport will now need a new tenant.
The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between six upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.