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Layoffs hit Woodward’s NoCo ops

FORT COLLINS — Woodward Inc. (Nasdaq: WWD), a Fort Collins company that designs, manufactures and services energy-conversion and control solutions for the aerospace and industrial equipment markets, has laid off workers at its Northern Colorado operations. 

“A select number of roles were recently impacted. Like all companies, in the normal course of business we evaluate our staffing needs to ensure they align to business needs,” Woodward vice president of communications Jennifer Regina told BizWest in an email. 

The company declined to say how many jobs were eliminated, nor did it elaborate on the business rationale for the cuts.

Woodward has not filed a Worker Adjust and Retraining Notification Act notice with the state. The WARN Act requires companies with more than 100 employees to provide 60 days’ written notice before mass layoffs. 

The layoffs come on the heels of a decision by Woodward last fall to consolidate its aerospace and industrial organizational structure. The move it said at the time was “designed to enhance the sales experience for customers, simplify operations and increase profitability through improved execution.”

Woodward’s still relatively new CEO Chip Blankenship, who joined the company less than a year ago, said in October 2022, “The changes we are making to our business structure and leadership will reduce complexity and improve operational performance to better serve our customers.”

Woodward employs about 8,700 workers across its global operations, “and will also continue to recruit for critical roles in line with the needs of our business,” Regina said. “… Woodward continues to be a proud employer in Northern Colorado and has a steadfast commitment to providing a great place to work for members here in Fort Collins.”

Woodward’s first quarter financial report, which ended Dec. 31, 2022, showed increased sales — $618.6 million versus $541.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Earnings were up in the aerospace division but down in the industrial division.

Industrial earnings were down “due to inflationary impacts on material and labor as well as increases in manufacturing costs related to supply chain disruptions,” the company said in its Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures.

The company reported strong demand with some impact from the Ukraine conflict. 

For its most recent annual performance — its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2022 — net sales were $2.38 billion versus $2.25 billion for fiscal 2021. Net earnings, meanwhile, were $171.5 million versus $208.6 million in the year prior.

Ken Amundson contributed to this report.

Source: BizWest