10 Sep 2008
GENEVA, Alabama─ BAE Systems announced today that it will close its Individual Equipment (IE) manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Geneva, Alabama on September 26. Over the last three years, BAE Systems increased its workforce to meet the rising demand for individual protective products. Now, as the Armed Forces' needs decline, BAE Systems is taking this action to match current and future demands. The closure will eliminate positions for the plant's current 197 employees.
"We regret having to reach this decision and recognize the impact it will have on our employees and the community," said Bryan Stiles, operations director for BAE Systems in Geneva, Alabama. "Our workforce in Geneva is skilled and dedicated. They have made a significant contribution to the protection of our armed forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their efforts have contributed to saving many lives. This decision is taken with tremendous regret, but is necessitated by lower demand as the services reach overall equipment fielding objectives. BAE Systems greatly appreciates all the support Alabama has afforded us within Geneva's community over the years."
Through a series of acquisitions, BAE Systems began operations in Geneva in 2001, when the company operated as Second Chance. During this time, the Geneva facility has manufactured body armor systems and components, such as the Outer Tactical Vest (OTV), OTV components, OTV conversion kits, Side Armor Protective Insert carriers and Modular Supplemental Armor Protection systems.
All Geneva employees will have the opportunity to seek open positions within BAE Systems' other operations in Alabama and across the continental U.S. BAE Systems will provide severance benefits and career transition assistance to employees and will comply with all regulations as mandated by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
BAE Systems employs over 1,300 individuals in Alabama with additional facilities in Albertville, Anniston, Cordova and Huntsville. The Individual Equipment business unit is a leader in the development and manufacture of protective body armor and load bearing equipment for the U.S. military. Operating 11 factories with over 2,100 employees around the U.S., Individual Equipment manufactures head-to-toe integrated survivability products including helmets, flotation collars, body armor, vests, hydration systems, assault packs, parachutes, air crew ensembles and other protective products.