Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) in Kent, which assembles wiring for airplane inflight entertainment and other cabin interior systems, plans to shut down its plant over the coming year and lay off its 595 workers.
“Aircraft build and retrofit are way down,” said Scott Selbach, vice president and general counsel for the parent, Carlisle Companies. “Our business has gone away, frankly.”
Selbach said the shutdown “should be complete by the end of 2021, if not sooner.” He said employees will be given severance pay, though he declined to provide details.
Carlisle Companies had revenue of $4.8 billion and net profit of $473 million last year. But the CIT local subsidiary was hit this year both by the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX and the pandemic-driven collapse in overall aerospace industry demand. Its commercial aerospace business declined about 50% in the second quarter.
In its quarterly earnings call late last month, Carlisle Group CEO and Chairman Christian Koch said the company began “an acceleration of restructuring actions that will rightsize our manufacturing footprint, in line with expected demand over the next few years.”
The company already shut a smaller commercial aerospace plant in Mobile, Alabama. And it has nearly completed closing two manufacturing operations in El Segundo and Riverside, California, that make aerospace wiring connectors.
Selbach said CIT will consolidate its commercial aerospace work at other locations, including St. Augustine, Florida; Franklin, Wisconsin; and Nogales, Mexico.
The Carlisle Companies conglomerate, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, has diverse holdings including construction materials, medical devices, fluid technologies and braking products.
A week ago, the company announced a 5% increase in its quarterly dividend to shareholders, which Koch said was “in recognition of our strong financial position.”
According to a filing with Washington state to qualify for the state’s aerospace tax incentives, CIT’s 600 full-time workers earned an average of $38,000 last year. The company saved more than $237,000 in taxes for the year from the incentives, which the Legislature repealed in March.