Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defense contractor Conax to close St. Petersburg plant, cutting 141 jobs

Conax Florida, a division of British defense contractor Cobham PLC, is closing its St. Petersburg plant by September, idling 141 workers.

The shutdown was disclosed in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice filed with state and local officials Tuesday.

The company, which does business under the name Cobham Life Support, blamed the closing on "a continuing downturn in government and commercial business over a period of several years." The layoffs at 2801 75th St. N will occur over a period of months, Cobham Life Support human resources director Clifford Nigh wrote in a letter accompanying the WARN notice. Some workers will be able to transfer to other Cobham locations, Nigh said, but the number is uncertain.

In 2009, officials from half a dozen government agencies, including the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, raided Conax's three-building complex in St. Petersburg. According to search warrants, the raid was focused on the components, performance and inspection of products that Conax makes which are used in parachuting devices.

The raid prompted U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to withdraw support for a $4 million funding request for the defense contractor. Young, R-Indian Shores, had been a major proponent for the contractor, securing $28.5 million in federal earmarks for the company since 2005.

Conax has been best known for making safety devices, including life preservers that automatically inflate when they hit water. The company also makes pyrovalves or pyrotechnical valves used mainly in spacecraft and rocketry. The life support branch is responsible for small restraints such as seat belts and ejection seat components.

Defense contractor Conax to close St. Petersburg plant, cutting 141 jobs 06/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  2. Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed by another police union

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is already backed by the city's largest police union, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman has secured another police union endorsement
  3. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulffront hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests at the Don CeSar Hotel relax Tuesday on St. Pete Beach. That night, the City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance to allow hotel guests to drink alcohol in permitted beach areas.
  4. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  5. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark

    National

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    From left, Aaron Sharockman, PolitiFact executive director, introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, PolitiFact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair; and Neil Brown, Tampa Bay Times editor and vice president, at the Poynter Institute on Tuesday.