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British manufacturer cites economic blowback from pandemic as main reason facility will shut its doors
Rolls-Royce North America said it plans to close its aircraft-part manufacturing plant in Prince George County, Virginia by the middle of 2021.
The closure, which will eliminate 280 jobs, is due to a dropoff in business amid the COVID-19 crisis, company spokesman Donald Campbell said in a statement Saturday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a historic collapse in civil aviation, which will take several years to recovery,” Campbell said in the statement. “As a result, we’ve had to make difficult, but necessary, decisions to protect the future of our business,”
Employees were notified of the decision Friday.
The Rolls-Royce Crosspointe facility, located on 1,000 acres just off Interstate 295 in Prince George, manufactures jet-engine discs and other equipment for the British company. The company’s North American operations are headquartered in northern Virginia.
The Prince George plant opened in 2011 and primarily produced what the company called “rotatives” or jet-engine discs.
Three years later, in 2014, a second manufacturing facility opened and was responsible for making turbine blades and nozzle guide vanes. The vanes direct airflow onto the turbine blades while at the same time converting pressure energy into kinetic energy, spinning the turbine at a high rate of speed.
Rolls-Royce is the first Virginia area manufacturing plant and the fourth Tri-City area business to announce it was shutting down based on the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
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