Stark Aerospace lays off 25 employees


Pete Costello, left, and Joe Max Higgins

Pete Costello, left, and Joe Max Higgins



Slim Smith



Stark Aerospace has laid off 25 employees, sources confirmed to The Dispatch on Wednesday.


Stark Human Resources Director John-Paul Morgante referred all questions to corporate communications director Pete Costello, who did not return calls as of press time today.


The Israeli-owned defense contractor began operations in Columbus in 2006 at its 120,000-square foot facility near the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. It is heavily involved in unmanned aircraft systems as well as weapon components and systems.



According to Owler, a company that tracks businesses throughout the U.S., Stark has 140 employees with annual estimated revenue of $22 million.


Although company officials would not comment on the layoffs, word quickly circulated through the community.


Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said he learned of the layoffs during an annual site visit to the Stark campus on Wednesday.


"Any time any of our companies lay people off, the first thing we do to help the people who have been laid off is to get them placed as soon as possible," Higgins said. "As soon as we heard about the layoffs at Stark, we started contacting our companies that we think could use their skill set and make them aware these people are going to be in the market."


Higgins said LINK Chief Operations Officer Macaulay Whitaker had also reached out to East Mississippi Community College's Communiversity Director Courtney Taylor.


"Courtney is very engaged," Higgins said. "They've already got some very promising opportunities for these people. Now, it's a matter of getting the word out to those employees who were laid off. Hopefully, we can get them placed before it becomes a major disruption in their lives. That's our goal in this situation."


Higgins said he believes the employees laid off this week were trained in electric component work.


"I do feel like there are a lot of area companies who need the skill set these people provide," he said.



Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]



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