Governor Ned Lamont stands at a podium in front of a Black Hawk helicopter with Sikorsky's headquarters in the background. Several people are seated in folding chairs watching the governor speak.
Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at Lockheed-Martin's Sikorsky in May 2022, where he signed a tax incentive agreement between the company and the state. Erica E. Phillips / CT Mirror

Sikorsky Aircraft will soon eliminate 179 positions in Connecticut.

The layoffs will primarily impact engineering positions, according to State Rep. Joe Gresko, a Stratford-based Democrat.

Sikorsky says the layoffs are triggered by several major programs “progressing into production” and ongoing material shortages that impacted cost-competitiveness.

“This was a difficult decision to make, and we intend to retain as many people as possible to fill our open business-critical positions that are required to support urgent national security missions,” the company said in a statement.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, who previously expressed dismay over Sikorsky losing out on a bid for a next generation helicopter program, said he would do what he can to help impacted engineers land back on their feet. He called the layoffs “deeply disappointing.”

“Sikorsky’s engineers are among the best in the world, and there are numerous companies in Connecticut that could benefit from their tremendous talent,” Blumenthal said. “My office stands ready to do whatever we can to help those who are affected by this upsetting decision.”

The layoffs are necessary “to ensure cost-competitiveness in the future,” the statement says.

Gresko said the layoffs are bad, but commended Sikorsky for trying to help impacted employees land jobs with other companies. He noted many of the workers have skills which are in high demand by other companies in the manufacturing sector.

He’s hoping those workers will choose to stay in Connecticut.

“That’s the hope going forward,” Gresko said. “We would like these individuals to to stay here, stay in the state of Connecticut.”

The Stratford-based company says the layoffs, which total about 250 workers when accounting for out-of-state employees, account for about 2% of Sikorsky’s workforce.

This story was first published Oct. 4, 2023 by Connecticut Public. Connecticut Public Radio’s Patrick Skahill contributed to this report.