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Robert Trigaux

Loss of 160 jobs in St. Petersburg at Cobham plant may be just the start for defense industry



cobhamconaxst.petebuilding.jpgWake up and good morning. Federal cutbacks in defense are starting to be felt locally, this time with the cutting of 160 jobs at a St. Petersburg defense Conax facility (photo, right) owned by the British company Cobham. The company's closing its manufacturing plant at 2801 75th Street N in St. Petersburg in the fourth quarter and transferring 120 of those jobs, 60 apiece, to a Cobham operation in Davenport, Iowa, and Orchard park. N.Y.

The St. Petersburg plant manufactures air crew and ground vehicle-crew safety and survivability products.

Cobham spokesman told WFLA Channel 8 that the nation's shrinking defense budget forced his company to consolidate operations.

This is just a piece of a larger consolidation. In the Baltimore area, Cobham is closing two location and laying off 140, says the Baltimore Sun.

No surprise, local media coverage in Davenport welcomes the new jobs coming their way.

In 2009, the Tampa Bay Times reported that federal agents raided the Conax/Cobham facility in St. Petersburg. The outcome of that raid, led by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, was never disclosed.

But on the job front, watch for more Tampa Bay area defense firms of all sizes tighten up and trim jobs as the federal defense dollars shrink. That's already been happening in the central Florida areas, says this Orlando Sentinel story.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times 


[Last modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 8:05am]


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